West Virginia seeks $2 million to start medical cannabis program

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West Virginia regulators are anticipating the state will need about $2 million to launch its medical marijuana program.

State health officer Dr. Rahul Gupta told both the state Senate and the House of Delegates the program could potentially be funded through an “internal loan,” the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

The biggest portion of the program’s expected startup costs is the $700,000 West Virginia plans to invest in a seed-to-sale tracking system, according to the newspaper.

Once the MMJ program is up and running – mid-2019 is the target date for sales to begin – the health department estimates oversight will cost an additional $800,000 to $1 million a year, the Gazette-Mail reported.

Gupta expects the state to cover those costs with revenue generated through fees and taxes.

West Virginia became the 30th state to legalize medical marijuana in April, when the legislature passed Senate Bill 386. The new law allows doctors to recommend medical cannabis, but it bans smokable MMJ.