West Virginia Cannabis Laws​

Navigating West Virginia's medical cannabis laws is essential for dispensary operators and patients to ensure compliance and safe practices. West Virginia allows medical cannabis use for patients with qualifying conditions, under strict regulations governed by the Office of Medical Cannabis.

Every Dispensary Must Know

WV (West Virginia) Laws at a Glance

Overview

West Virginia legalized medical cannabis on April 19, 2017, with the signing of Senate Bill 386, creating the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act. The state’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened in November 2021. Here’s a quick overview of the key points of West Virginia’s cannabis laws.

Key Points

  1. Regulatory Authority
    • The Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC) oversees the state’s medical marijuana program.
  2. Legal Forms of Medical Cannabis
    • Medical cannabis can be dispensed in the following forms:
      • Pills
      • Oils
      • Topicals (gels, creams, or lotions)
      • Tinctures
      • Liquid
      • Dermal patches
    • Note: Edibles are not legal in West Virginia.
  3. Possession and Purchase Limits
    • Patients with a valid medical ID card and their official caregivers can purchase and possess medical cannabis.
    • Patients may purchase up to a 30-day supply of cannabis.
  4. Proximity Restrictions
    • Dispensaries cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a school.
  5. Taxation
    • Medical marijuana organizations are taxed at 10% of the gross receipts of each reporting quarter.
  6. Track and Trace System
    • West Virginia uses Metrc as the state’s cannabis track and trace program to manage inventory and ensure compliance.
  7. Legal Status
    • Cannabis has not been decriminalized in West Virginia, and possession of any amount of cannabis is considered a misdemeanor.

By understanding these key points, dispensaries and patients can navigate West Virginia’s medical cannabis laws more effectively and responsibly.

Lawful Use of Medical Cannabis

Overview

West Virginia has specific regulations for the lawful use of medical cannabis. These rules define who can purchase and possess medical cannabis, the forms in which it can be dispensed, and the proper disposal and packaging of cannabis products. Here’s a detailed guide to the lawful use of medical cannabis in West Virginia.

Eligible Patients and Caregivers

  1. Who Can Purchase and Possess Medical Cannabis?
    • Patients: Individuals with a valid medical ID card issued by the Office of Medical Cannabis.
    • Caregivers: Official caregivers designated by the patient, who can purchase and possess medical cannabis on behalf of the patient.
  2. Caregiver Regulations
    • Patients can designate up to two caregivers.
    • A caregiver cannot care for more than five patients at a time.

Approved Forms of Medical Cannabis

  1. Dispensable Forms
    • Medical cannabis can only be dispensed in the following forms:
      • Pills
      • Oils
      • Topicals (gels, creams, or lotions)
      • Tinctures
      • Liquid
      • Dermal patches
    • Note: Edibles are not legal in West Virginia.

Disposal and Packaging Rules

  1. Unused Medical Marijuana Products
    • Must remain in their original packaging to ensure safety and compliance.
  2. Labeling Requirements
    • All products must be appropriately labeled with the following information:
      • Name of the grower or processor
      • Name of the dispensary
      • Specific form and species of the product
      • Percentage of THC and CBD content

Key Considerations

  1. Compliance
    • Ensure all dispensary operations comply with state regulations regarding the sale and handling of medical cannabis.
  2. Patient and Caregiver Verification
    • Always verify the medical ID cards of patients and caregivers before dispensing cannabis products.
  3. Packaging Integrity
    • Maintain the integrity of packaging to ensure product safety and regulatory compliance.

By following these regulations, dispensaries in West Virginia can ensure they are operating within the legal framework, providing safe and effective medical cannabis to patients and caregivers.

Applications and Permits

Overview

Applying for and maintaining a cannabis business license in West Virginia involves a detailed and structured process. The state requires specific documentation, background checks, and fees for growers, processors, and dispensaries. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the application and permit requirements for cannabis businesses in West Virginia.

Application Requirements

  1. Business Information
    • Verification and job descriptions of all principal operators, financial backers, and employees of the business.
    • A detailed description of the organization’s intended business activities.
  2. Background Checks
    • A criminal background check and fingerprints for everyone involved in the organization.
  3. Property and Equipment
    • Proof that the organization has the right to use, or can quickly obtain the right to use, the land, buildings, and equipment necessary to carry out licensing activities.
  4. Security Plan
    • A comprehensive plan for the security and control of the product on the property.

Application Fees

  1. Growers and Processors
    • Initial Application Fee: Nonrefundable $5,000.
    • Permit Fee: $50,000, submitted at the time of application. This fee is refundable if the applicant is not granted a permit. If granted, the permit is valid for one year.
    • Renewal Fees: $5,000 per location, refundable if the permit isn’t renewed. Renewal applications must be submitted 4-6 months before the permit expires.
  2. Dispensaries
    • Initial Application Fee: Nonrefundable $2,500.
    • Permit Fee: $10,000 for each location, submitted at the time of application. This fee is refundable if the applicant is not granted a permit. If granted, the permit is valid for one year.
    • Renewal Fee: $2,500 covering all locations, refundable if the permit isn’t renewed.
    • Amendment Fee: $250 for amending the application.

License Renewal Requirements

  1. Information Updates
    • Any material change to the original information provided in the initial application.
    • Any charge or initiated, pending, or concluded investigation of theft, loss, or diversion.
    • Compliance with state law information.
  2. Renewal Process
    • Renewal applications must be submitted 4-6 months before the permit expires.
    • If denied, renewal applicants have 30 days to submit additional material, demand a hearing, or both.

Permit Selection Criteria

  1. Evaluation Factors
    • Sufficient building, facilities, and equipment.
    • Public interest and the ability to implement and maintain security, tracking, and recordkeeping.
    • Geographic location, regional population, and the number of patients suffering from severe medical conditions.
    • Types of serious medical conditions treated and access to public transportation.
    • Approval by local health departments and whether the county has disallowed the location of a grower, processor, or dispensary.
    • Any other factor the bureau deems relevant.

By adhering to these application and permit requirements, cannabis businesses in West Virginia can ensure they are compliant with state regulations, which is crucial for obtaining and maintaining their licenses.

Dispensing to Patients and Caregivers

Overview

Dispensing medical cannabis to patients and caregivers in West Virginia requires strict adherence to state regulations to ensure safe and legal transactions. This section covers the requirements for verifying patients and caregivers, transaction documentation, and packaging and labeling of medical cannabis products.

Verification and Documentation

  1. Patient and Caregiver Verification
    • A dispensary staff member must verify all patient and caregiver information before each transaction.
    • Patients and caregivers must present a valid medical ID card issued by the Office of Medical Cannabis.
  2. Transaction Receipts
    • Verified patients or caregivers must receive a receipt for each transaction that includes:
      • Name, address, and the dispensary’s ID number
      • Name and address of the patient and caregiver
      • Date of purchase
      • Practitioner’s requirements regarding the type of product, including any limitations
      • The form and quantity of medical cannabis dispensed
    • Receipt information must be electronically documented for tracking by the bureau.

Purchase Limits

  1. Supply Limitations
    • Patients cannot purchase more than a 30-day supply of cannabis.
    • Patients cannot purchase cannabis in a form not prescribed or in an amount greater than their practitioner’s prescribed limits.

Packaging and Labeling Requirements

  1. Package Labels
    • Labels must include:
      • Information included on the patient/caregiver receipt
      • Packaging date and use-by date
      • Required warning statements, written exactly as defined in the Act
      • Amount of individual doses contained within the package
      • Species and percentages of THC and CBD in the products
  2. Prohibited Label Elements
    • Labels cannot contain:
      • A trademark resembling food or beverage
      • Misleading artwork or designs
      • Any insignia, seal, or crest that may lead an individual to believe it has been endorsed by a state, county, or municipality
      • Cartoons, colors, or imagery that might appeal to children
  3. Product Packaging
    • Products must remain in their original container to ensure safety and compliance.
    • Packaging must be tamper-evident and child-resistant.

Facility Requirements

  1. Operational Environment
    • A dispensary can only sell medical cannabis in an indoor, enclosed, and secure facility within the state.
    • Growing or processing facilities cannot be on the same site as the dispensary.
  2. Proximity Restrictions
    • A dispensary building cannot be within 1,000 feet of a public or private school or daycare center.
  3. Paraphernalia Sales
    • Medical dispensaries can sell paraphernalia for the use of medical cannabis.
  4. Permit Display
    • Dispensaries must conspicuously display a copy of their permit for patients, caregivers, law enforcement officers, and agents of the bureau.

By following these regulations, dispensaries in West Virginia can ensure they provide safe and compliant medical cannabis to patients and caregivers, maintaining the integrity and legality of their operations.

Security and Surveillance Requirements

Overview

Ensuring the security of medical cannabis facilities is crucial for preventing unauthorized access, theft, and ensuring compliance with West Virginia’s regulations. This section details the required security and surveillance measures for dispensaries to operate safely and legally.

Security Measures

  1. Alarm Systems
    • Professional Monitoring: Dispensaries must have a commercial-grade alarm system monitored 24/7 by a professional service.
    • Silent Alarms: A silent alarm that signals if the user is being forced to turn off the system.
    • Holdup Alarms: Alarms intended to signal a robbery in progress.
    • Panic Alarms: Alarms for emergencies that can alert law enforcement.
    • Failure Notification: A system that reports to a security person within 5 minutes of an alarm failure.
    • Smoke and Fire Alarms: Alarms that detect smoke and fire.
  2. Surveillance Systems
    • Camera Coverage: Surveillance must cover all entrances and exits, rooms with windows, skylights, storage rooms, safes, and all limited access areas. Surveillance must also cover five feet outside the facility, particularly areas where cannabis is loaded or unloaded.
    • Video Specifications: Cameras must be of high definition with fixed placements, capable of capturing clear footage.
    • Footage Storage: Surveillance footage must be stored for at least two years in a locked cabinet or closet.
    • Inspection and Testing: All systems must be inspected and tested annually by a professional vendor. Proof of inspections must be kept on-site for four years.
    • Separate Security System for Surveillance Records: A separate alarm system must cover the storage of surveillance records, meeting the same requirements as the primary alarm system.
  3. Physical Security Measures
    • Commercial-Grade Locks: Dispensaries must have commercial-grade doors and door locks protecting the exterior of the building. Keys or key codes must be kept by authorized staff.
    • Locked Entrances and Exits: During closed hours, all entrances and exits must remain locked.
    • Lighting: Adequate lighting must be maintained within the facility and in areas covered by surveillance to ensure clear visibility.
    • Motion Detectors: Installation of motion detectors to detect unauthorized movement within the facility.
  4. Designated Security Employee
    • Dispensaries must appoint a security employee responsible for monitoring surveillance and security systems.

Security Room Requirements

  1. Access Control
    • The security room must remain locked and off-limits except to authorized personnel.
    • The room must not be used for any purpose other than security.

Key Considerations

  1. Compliance with Security Protocols
    • Regularly review and update security protocols to comply with state regulations and ensure the facility’s safety.
  2. Training for Security Personnel
    • Ensure that all security personnel are properly trained on the use of alarm and surveillance systems, emergency procedures, and the importance of maintaining security measures.
  3. Incident Reporting
    • Develop clear procedures for reporting security incidents, including unauthorized access, theft, and system failures.
  4. Continuous Improvement
    • Regularly assess and improve security measures to address emerging threats and vulnerabilities.

By implementing these security and surveillance measures, dispensaries in West Virginia can protect their operations, ensure the safety of their products, and comply with state regulations, thereby maintaining the trust of their patients and caregivers

Transportation of Medical Cannabis

Overview

Transporting medical cannabis in West Virginia requires strict adherence to state regulations to ensure the security and integrity of the products. This section outlines the rules and guidelines for the safe and legal transportation of medical cannabis.

Transportation Rules

  1. Operational Hours
    • Cannabis transportation is permitted only between 7 AM and 9 PM.
  2. Third-Party Contractors
    • Dispensaries can hire third-party delivery contractors for transporting medical cannabis.
  3. Intrastate Transportation
    • Medical cannabis cannot be transported outside the state of West Virginia.

Vehicle Requirements

  1. GPS Tracking
    • Delivery vehicles must be equipped with GPS to track and ensure secure delivery routes.
  2. Secure Storage
    • Vehicles must have a lockbox or locked cargo area to conceal and secure the cannabis products from outside view.
  3. Unmarked Vehicles
    • Delivery vehicles must not have any markings that indicate they are carrying cannabis.
  4. Temperature Control
    • Vehicles must have a temperature-controlled solution for transporting perishable products to maintain product integrity.
  5. State Compliance
    • Vehicles must display a current state inspection and registration.
    • Vehicles must be commercially insured.

Delivery Personnel Requirements

  1. Staffing
    • Each delivery vehicle must be staffed by two personnel, with one remaining in the vehicle to protect the products at all times.
  2. Communication
    • Each delivery employee must have a device to communicate with the dispensary during deliveries.
  3. Identification
    • Delivery employees must have a valid driver’s license and carry their ID card at all times.
  4. Route Adherence
    • Delivery drivers are not permitted to make any stops outside of the planned deliveries.

Reporting and Compliance

  1. Accidents and Diversions
    • Dispensaries must report any vehicle accidents, diversions, or losses immediately to the bureau.
  2. Delivery Routes and Times
    • Dispensaries need to share their delivery routes and times daily via phone or electronic communication with the bureau.
  3. Inspections
    • Delivery vehicles may be inspected by the bureau or law enforcement along the route or at the medical cannabis organization.

Key Considerations

  1. Security
    • Ensure that all security measures are in place to protect cannabis products during transportation.
  2. Compliance
    • Adhere strictly to the state regulations to avoid penalties and ensure the safe delivery of products.
  3. Training
    • Provide comprehensive training for delivery personnel on security protocols, communication procedures, and state regulations.
  4. Documentation
    • Maintain accurate records of all transportation activities, including routes, deliveries, and any incidents.

By following these transportation guidelines, dispensaries in West Virginia can ensure the secure and legal delivery of medical cannabis, maintaining compliance with state regulations and protecting the integrity of their products.

Taxes

Overview

Medical marijuana organizations in West Virginia are subject to specific tax regulations. Understanding these requirements is crucial for dispensaries to maintain compliance and manage their financial responsibilities effectively. This section details the taxation rules for medical cannabis businesses in West Virginia.

Taxation of Medical Marijuana Organizations

  1. Privilege Tax
    • Medical marijuana organizations are taxed at 10% of the gross receipts of each reporting quarter.
    • This tax is known as the privilege tax and is a cost that the business must bear. It cannot be passed on to the patient.
  2. Tax Payment Schedule
    • The privilege tax is due and electronically payable on the 20th day of January, April, July, and October for the preceding calendar quarter.
  3. Tax Return Filing
    • When the tax payment is due, the organization must file a tax return in a form prescribed by the Tax Commissioner.
    • The tax return must accurately report the gross receipts and calculate the tax due for the reporting period.

Additional Tax Information

  1. Medical Cannabis Program Fund
    • The funds collected from the privilege tax go into the Medical Cannabis Program Fund, which supports the administration and regulation of the state’s medical cannabis program.
  2. Patient Exemption
    • Patients do not pay tax on medical cannabis. There are no excise or municipal sales taxes applied to medical cannabis purchases.
  3. Emergency Taxation Rules
    • The Tax Commissioner has the authority to adjust emergency taxation rules if deemed necessary to address specific situations or challenges faced by the industry.

Key Considerations

  1. Timely Payment
    • Ensure that all tax payments are made on time to avoid penalties and interest charges.
    • Use electronic payment methods to streamline the process and ensure timely submission.
  2. Accurate Reporting
    • Maintain accurate and detailed financial records to support tax filings and ensure compliance with state requirements.
    • Regularly review and reconcile financial records to identify and correct any discrepancies.
  3. Consultation with Tax Professionals
    • Work with tax professionals or accountants who are familiar with cannabis industry regulations to ensure compliance and optimize tax strategies.
  4. Regulatory Compliance
    • Stay informed about any changes in tax regulations or reporting requirements to maintain compliance and avoid potential legal issues.

By adhering to these taxation rules and guidelines, medical marijuana organizations in West Virginia can ensure they meet their financial obligations, support the state’s medical cannabis program, and operate within the legal framework.

WV Laws FAQs

Overview

Understanding the intricacies of West Virginia’s cannabis laws is crucial for dispensary operators, patients, and caregivers. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about West Virginia’s cannabis laws to help clarify common concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is marijuana legal in West Virginia?
    • Medical marijuana is legal in West Virginia for patients with a valid medical ID card. Recreational cannabis remains illegal in the state.
  2. What are the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in West Virginia?
    • Qualifying conditions include cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord, epilepsy, neuropathies, Huntington’s disease, Crohn’s disease, intractable seizures, sickle cell anemia, severe chronic or intractable pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and terminal illness.
  3. How much weed can I buy in West Virginia?
    • Patients with a valid medical ID card can purchase up to a 30-day supply of medical cannabis. The specific amount is determined by the patient’s practitioner based on their medical needs.
  4. Is recreational cannabis legal in West Virginia?
    • No, recreational cannabis is not legal in West Virginia. Possession of any amount of cannabis for non-medical purposes is considered a misdemeanor.
  5. Can I grow cannabis plants in West Virginia?
    • No, patients and caregivers are not allowed to grow their own cannabis plants in West Virginia. All medical cannabis must be obtained from state-licensed dispensaries.
  6. Can I sell cannabis in West Virginia?
    • Only licensed dispensaries can sell medical cannabis in West Virginia. Selling cannabis without a state-issued license is illegal and subject to severe penalties.
  7. How is cannabis taxed in West Virginia?
    • Medical marijuana organizations are taxed at 10% of the gross receipts of each reporting quarter. This tax is known as the privilege tax and cannot be passed on to the patient. Patients do not pay tax on medical cannabis purchases.

Key Considerations

  1. Stay Informed
    • Regularly check for updates to West Virginia’s cannabis laws and regulations to ensure ongoing compliance.
  2. Maintain Compliance
    • Adhere to all state guidelines regarding sales, advertising, security, and employee training to avoid penalties and maintain your license.
  3. Educate Patients and Caregivers
    • Provide clear information to patients and caregivers about their rights, purchase limits, and safe consumption practices.

By understanding these frequently asked questions and their answers, dispensary operators and patients can navigate West Virginia’s cannabis laws more effectively and responsibly.

Disclaimer

The material contained on this website and any attached or referenced pages has been compiled by UZIO for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and is not considered to be legal advice. This post is current as of [1-July-2024]. Cannabis regulations are rapidly changing, and legal advice of any nature should be sought from legal counsel.

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