On November 3rd New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota, and Montana will decide whether or not to legalize marijuana through ballot initiatives. Currently, eleven States and Washington, DC have legalized marijuana, and only a handful of states fully criminalize marijuana and prohibit medicinal use. West Virginia joined the ranks of those states that legalized medicinal marijuana, but the process has been less than smooth since the legislation was passed in 2017.
While West Virginia became the 23rd state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes there has yet to be the first patient to receive a prescription for medicinal cannabis. West Virginia encountered a myriad of problems since passage ranging from issues with licensing, testing, and even banking for the institutions engaging in the medical marijuana industry.
The legislature has passed a series of bills since 2017 that enabled vertical integration, allowed for credit unions to bid to provide banking services, and in 2020 a bill was amended to allow for use of the “dry plant or leaf form” of marijuana in medicinal applications. Even with the passage of additional legislation, the State’s Office of Medical Cannabis estimates that the first patients will not be served until the Spring of 2021.