This document is intended to provide an overview of West Virginia Medical Cannabis regulations as they apply to growers, processors, labs, and dispensaries. It includes some basic information on how to get a marijuana business license in West Virginia as well as a comprehensive list of links to forms and applications and additional resources. This information was last updated on 10/20/2019.
The complete and current code, Chapter 16A. Medical Cannabis Act. can be found here.
A brief history of West Virginia’s Medical Cannabis Act.
Between 2010 and 2015 a handful of bills were introduced in attempts to legalize medical marijuana in West Virginia. All of these efforts failed.
Then in 2017, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 386, aka the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, officially legalizing medical marijuana for patients suffering from a list of specific qualifying medical conditions.
The law was signed by the governor in April 2017 and officially went into effect in July 2018. However, setbacks continue to delay the launch of the program. Officials are now claiming that the program might not be operational for another two to three years, potentially pushing it up until some time in 2021.
In an email to MJBizDaily, Allison Adler, director of communications for the West Virginia Department of Health, wrote that the “primary cause” behind the projected two- to three-year delay is concerns over secure banking services. The issue was addressed in recent legislation.
The state treasurer, Adler noted, recently issued a request for proposals from financial institutions interested in providing banking services to the industry. However, the proposals will “require time to evaluate and implement.”
Adler continued that “it is important to note that after a solution to the current banking issue is found, it will take time for multiple stages of the medical cannabis permitting process to be implemented.”
The measure calls for up to ten grower permits in the state with a limit of two locations per permit. It also calls for licensing up to ten processors and 100 medical marijuana dispensaries.
While a single individual or business entity is permitted to hold grower, processor and dispensary licenses, no more than 10 dispensary permits can be awarded to a single individual or entity.
West Virginia Medical Cannabis Regulations
Duties of West Virginia Medical Cannabis Board
The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Board, established within the Bureau for Public Health, has the following duties:
- Examine and analyze the statutory and regulatory laws relating to medical cannabis within this state.
- Examine and analyze the law and events in other states and the nation with respect to medical cannabis.
- Accept and review written comments from individuals and organizations about medical cannabis.
- Issue written report to the Governor, the Senate and the House of Delegates that includes recommendations on:
- Whether there should be changes to the types of medical professionals who can issue certifications to patients.
- Whether to change, add or reduce the types of medical conditions which qualify as serious medical conditions.
- Whether to change the form of medical cannabis permitted.
- Whether to change, add or reduce the number of growers, processors or dispensaries.
- How to ensure affordable patient access to medical cannabis.
- Whether to permit medical cannabis to be dispensed in dry leaf or plant form, for administration by vaporization.
The Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health serves as chair of the Board.
Requirements of West Virginia Medical Cannabis Board
The medical cannabis program is implemented and administered by the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Board which is subject to the following requirements:
- Issue permits to medical cannabis organizations to authorize them to grow, process or dispense medical cannabis and ensure their compliance with this act.
- Register practitioners and ensure their compliance with this act.
- Have regulatory and enforcement authority over the growing, processing, sale and use of medical cannabis in this state.
- Establish and maintain an electronic database to include activities and information relating to medical cannabis organizations, certifications and identification cards issued, practitioner registration and electronic tracking of all medical cannabis as required under this act to include:
- Ensure that medical cannabis is not diverted or otherwise used for unlawful purposes by a practitioner or medical cannabis organization.
- Ability to establish the authenticity of identification cards.
- Recording recommended forms of medical cannabis provided in a certification filed by the practitioner.
- Monitoring all growth, transfer, possession, processing, testing and dispensing of medical cannabis in this state.
- The tracking system under article seven of this chapter must include information under section one, article eight of this chapter and any other information required by the bureau to be used by the bureau and dispensaries to enable a dispensary to lawfully provide medical cannabis. The tracking system and database must be capable of providing information in real-time. The database must be capable of receiving information from a dispensary regarding the disbursement of medical cannabis to patients and caregivers. This information must be immediately accessible to the bureau and other dispensaries to inhibit diversion and ensure compliance with this act.
- Maintain a directory of patients and caregivers approved to use or assist in the administration of medical cannabis within the bureau’s database.
- Develop a four-hour training course for physicians regarding the latest scientific research on medical cannabis, including the risks and benefits of medical cannabis and other information deemed necessary by the bureau. Successful completion of the course must be approved as continuing education credits as determined by:
- The State Board of Medicine.
- The State Board of Osteopathic Medicine.
- Develop a two-hour course for the principals and employees of a medical cannabis organization who either have direct contact with patients or caregivers or who physically handle medical cannabis. Employees must successfully complete the course no later than ninety days after commencing employment. Principals must successfully complete the course prior to commencing the initial operation of the medical cannabis organization. The subject matter of the course must include the following:
- Methods to recognize and report unauthorized activity, including diversion of medical cannabis for unlawful purposes and falsification of identification cards.
- Proper handling of medical cannabis and record keeping.
- Any other subject required by the bureau.
- Develop enforcement procedures, including announced and unannounced inspections of facilities of the grower/processors and dispensaries and all records of the medical cannabis organizations.
- Establish a program to authorize the use of medical cannabis to conduct medical research relating to the use of medical cannabis to treat serious medical conditions, including the collection of data and the provision of research grants.
- Establish and maintain public outreach programs about the medical cannabis program, including:
- A dedicated telephone number for patients, caregivers and members of the public to obtain basic information about the dispensing of medical cannabis under this act.
- A publicly accessible Internet website with similar information.
- Collaborate as necessary with other state agencies or contract with third parties as necessary to carry out the provisions of this act.
- Determine the number and type of medical cannabis products to be produced by a grower/processor and dispensed by a dispensary.
- Develop record keeping requirements for all books, papers, any electronic database or tracking system data and other information of a medical cannabis organization. Information must be retained for a minimum period of four years unless otherwise provided by the bureau.
- Restrict the advertising and marketing of medical cannabis, which must be consistent with the Federal rules and regulations governing prescription drug advertising and marketing.
The bureau also has the power to propose and promulgate emergency rules as may be necessary to carry out and implement the provisions of the act.
Lawful use of medical cannabis.
The lawful use or possession of medical cannabis is subject to the following conditions:
- Medical cannabis may only be dispensed to:
- a patient who receives a certification from a practitioner and is in possession of a valid identification card issued by the bureau; and
- a caregiver who is in possession of a valid identification card issued by the bureau.
- Subject to rules promulgated under this act, medical cannabis may only be dispensed to a patient or caregiver in the following forms:
- Topical forms, including gels, creams or ointments;
- A form medically appropriate for administration by vaporization or nebulization, excluding dry leaf or plant form until dry leaf or plant forms become acceptable under rules adopted by the bureau;
- Liquid; or
- Dermal patch.
- Unless otherwise provided in rules adopted by the bureau under section two, article eleven of this chapter, medical cannabis may not be dispensed to a patient or a caregiver in dry leaf or plant form.
- An individual may not act as a caregiver for more than five patients.
- A patient may designate up to two caregivers at any one time.
- Medical cannabis that has not been used by the patient must be kept in the original package in which it was dispensed.
- A patient or caregiver must possess an identification card whenever the patient or caregiver is in possession of medical cannabis.
- Products packaged by a grower/processor or sold by a dispensary must only be identified by the name of the grower/processor, the name of the dispensary, the form and species of medical cannabis, the percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinol contained in the product.
Unlawful use of medical cannabis.
Under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act Chapter 60A it is unlawful to:
- Smoke medical cannabis.
- Except as provided under subsection (c), incorporate medical cannabis into an edible form or sell in edible form.
- Grow medical cannabis unless the grower/processor has received a permit from the bureau under this act.
- Grow or dispense medical cannabis unless authorized as a health care medical cannabis organization under article thirteen of this chapter.
- Dispense medical cannabis unless the dispensary has received a permit from the bureau under this act.
Authorized medical cannabis organizations
The act states that the following entities will be authorized to receive a permit to operate as a medical cannabis organization to grow, process or dispense medical cannabis:
Application — An application for a grower, processor or dispensary permit must include the following:
- Verification of all principals, operators, financial backers or employees of a medical cannabis grower/processor or dispensary.
- A description of responsibilities as a principal, operator, financial backer or employee.
- Any release is necessary to obtain information from governmental agencies, employers and other organizations.
- A criminal history record check. Medical cannabis organizations applying for a permit must submit fingerprints of principals, financial backers, operators and employees to the West Virginia State Police for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record checks and the West Virginia State Police or its authorized agent must submit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of verifying the identity of the principals, financial backers, operators and employees and obtaining a current record of any criminal arrests and convictions. Any criminal history record information relating to principals, financial backers, operators and employees obtained under this section by the bureau may be interpreted and used by the bureau only to determine the principal’s, financial backer’s, operator’s and employee’s character, fitness and suitability to serve as a principal, financial backer, operator and employee under this act. This subdivision must not apply to an owner of securities in a publicly traded corporation if the bureau determines that the owner of the securities is not substantially involved in the activities of the medical cannabis organization.
- Details relating to a similar license, permit or other authorization obtained in another jurisdiction, including any suspensions, revocations or discipline in that jurisdiction.
- A description of the business activities in which it intends to engage as a medical cannabis organization.
- A statement that the applicant:
- Is of good moral character. For purposes of this subparagraph, an applicant must include each financial backer, operator, employee and principal of the medical cannabis organization.
- Possesses the ability to obtain in an expeditious manner the right to use sufficient land, buildings, and other premises and equipment to properly carry on the activity described in the application and any proposed location for a facility.
- Is able to maintain effective security and control to prevent diversion, abuse and other illegal conduct relating to medical cannabis.
- Is able to comply with all applicable state laws and rules relating to the activities in which it intends to engage under this act.
- The name, residential address, and title of each financial backer and principal of the applicant. Each individual, or lawful representative of a legal entity, must submit an affidavit with the application setting forth:
- Any position of management or ownership during the preceding ten years of a controlling interest in any other business, located inside or outside this state, manufacturing or distributing controlled substances.
- Whether the person or business has been convicted of a criminal offense graded higher than a summary offense or has had a permit relating to medical cannabis suspended or revoked in any administrative or judicial proceeding.
- Any other information the bureau may require.
Granting of permits
The bureau can grant or deny a permit to a grower, processor, or dispensary.
In making a decision the bureau must determine that:
- The applicant will maintain effective control of and prevent the diversion of medical cannabis.
- The applicant will comply with all applicable laws of this state.
- The applicant is a resident of this state as defined in §29-22B-327 of this code or is organized under the law of this state. If the applicant is a business entity, majority ownership in the business entity must be held by a state resident or residents.
- The applicant is ready, willing, and able to properly carry on the activity for which a permit is sought.
- The applicant possesses the ability to obtain in an expeditious manner sufficient land, buildings, and equipment to properly grow, process, or dispense medical cannabis.
- It is in the public interest to grant the permit.
- The applicant, including the financial backer or principal, is of good moral character and has the financial fitness necessary to operate.
- The applicant is able to implement and maintain security, tracking, recordkeeping, and surveillance systems relating to the acquisition, possession, growth, manufacture, sale, delivery, transportation, distribution, or the dispensing of medical cannabis as required by the bureau.
- The applicant satisfies any other conditions as determined by the bureau.
Dispensary location — The bureau will consider the following when issuing a dispensary permit:
- Geographic location;
- Regional population;
- The number of patients suffering from serious medical conditions;
- The types of serious medical conditions;
- Access to public transportation;
- Approval by local health departments;
- Whether the county has disallowed the location of a grower, processor, or dispensary; and
- Any other factor the bureau deems relevant.
Application procedure — The bureau must establish a procedure for the fair and objective evaluation of all applications for all medical cannabis organization permits. Such evaluations must score each applicant numerically according to standards set forth in this chapter.
AT THE TIME OF WRITING, THESE PROCEDURES HAVE NOT BEEN DETERMINED.
Duty to report — An applicant to be a grower/processor or to operate a dispensary is under a continuing duty to:
- Report to the bureau any change in facts or circumstances reflected in the application or any newly discovered or occurring fact or circumstance which is required to be included in the application, including a change in control of the medical cannabis organization.
- Report to law enforcement, within twenty-four hours, any loss or theft of medical cannabis.
- Submit to announced or unannounced inspections by the bureau of the facilities for growing, processing, dispensing or selling medical cannabis, including all records of the organization.
Additional information — If the bureau is not satisfied that the applicant should be issued a permit, the bureau will notify the applicant in writing of the factors for which further documentation is required. Within thirty days of the receipt of the notification, the applicant may submit additional material to the bureau.
Fees and other requirements
The following fees apply to the granting of permits:
- For a grower or processor:
- An initial application fee in the amount of $5,000 must be paid. The fee is nonrefundable.
- A fee for a permit as a grower/processor in the amount of $50,000 must be paid. The permit will be valid for one year. Applicants must submit the permit fee at the time of submission of the application. The fee will be returned if the permit is not granted.
- A renewal fee for the permit as a grower/processor in the amount of $5,000 must be paid and will cover renewal for all locations. The renewal fee will be returned if the renewal is not granted.
- An application to renew a permit must be filed with the bureau not more than six months nor less than four months prior to expiration.
- All fees must be paid by certified check or money order.
- For a dispensary:
- An initial application fee in the amount of $2,500 must be paid. The fee is nonrefundable.
- A permit fee for a dispensary will be $10,000 for each location. The period of the permit is one year. An applicant must submit the permit fee at the time of submission of the application. The fee will be returned if the application is not granted.
- A renewal fee for the permit as a dispensary in the amount of $2,500 must be paid. The fee will be returned if the renewal is not granted and will cover renewal for all locations.
- An application to renew a permit must be filed with the bureau not more than six months nor less than four months prior to expiration.
- All fees must be paid by certified check or money order.
- A fee of $250 must be required when amending the application to indicate relocation within this state or the addition or deletion of approved activities by the medical cannabis organization.
- Fees payable under this section must be deposited into the fund.
Terms of permit - A permit issued by the bureau will be valid for one year from the date of issuance.
Permit renewals - An application for renewal must include the following information:
- Any material change in the information provided by the medical cannabis organization in a prior application or renewal of a permit.
- Any charge or initiated, pending or concluded the investigation, during the period of the permit, by any governmental or administrative agency with respect to:
- Any incident involving the theft, loss or possible diversion of medical cannabis grown, processed or dispensed by the applicant; and
- Compliance by the applicant with the laws of this state with respect to any substance listed under article two, chapter sixty-a of this code.
Approval — The bureau must renew a permit unless the bureau determines that:
- The applicant is unlikely to maintain or be able to maintain effective control against diversion of medical cannabis.
- The applicant is unlikely to comply with all laws of this state applicable to the activities in which it may engage under the permit.
- Nonrenewal decision. — The denial or nonrenewal must specify in detail how the applicant has not satisfied the bureau’s requirements for renewal. Within thirty days of the bureau’s decision, the applicant may submit additional material to the bureau or demand a hearing, or both. If a hearing is demanded, the bureau will fix a date as soon as practicable.
Suspension or revocation - The bureau may suspend or revoke a medical cannabis organization permit if:
- The bureau has evidence that the medical cannabis organization has failed to maintain effective control against diversion of medical cannabis.
- The organization violates any provision of this act or a rule of the bureau.
- The organization has intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or negligently failed to comply with applicable laws of this State relating to medical cannabis.
Convictions prohibited - The following individuals may not hold volunteer positions or positions with remuneration in or be affiliated with a medical cannabis organization, including a clinical registrant under article fourteen of this chapter, in any way if the individual has been convicted of any felony criminal offense related to the sale or possession of illegal drugs, narcotics or controlled substances, or conspiracy thereof:
- Financial backers
If an individual seeking to hold a volunteer position or position with remuneration in or be affiliated with a dispensary is otherwise prohibited under subsection (a) of this section, such an individual may seek a waiver from the bureau in order to hold such a position with a dispensary. The allowance of the waiver, including any additional restrictions or conditions as part of the waiver, will be at the discretion of the bureau.
Limitations on permits - The following limitations apply to approval of permits for growers, processors, and dispensaries, subject to the limitations in subsection (b) of this section:
- The bureau may not issue permits to more than 10 growers: Provided, That each grower may have up to two locations per permit.
- The bureau may not issue permits to more than 10 processors.
- The bureau may not issue permits to more than 100 dispensaries.
- The bureau may not issue more than 10 individual dispensary permits to one person.
- The bureau may not issue more than one individual grower permit to one person.
- The bureau may not issue more than one individual processor permit to one person.
- A dispensary may only obtain medical cannabis from a grower or processor holding a valid permit under this act.
- A grower or processor may only provide medical cannabis to a dispensary holding a valid permit under this act.
- A person may hold a grower permit, a processor permit, and a dispensary permit, or any combination thereof, concurrently.
Before a permit may be issued, the bureau must obtain the following:
- Written approval from the board of health for the county in which the permit is to be located and operate a business.
- A written statement from the county commission for the county in which the permit is to be located and conduct business that the county has not voted, pursuant to §16A-7-6 of this code, to disapprove a medical cannabis organization to be located or operate within the county.
Seed-To-Sale Tracking Systems
All medical cannabis organizations must implement an electronic inventory tracking system that electronically tracks all medical cannabis from seed to sale on a daily basis.
The system must be directly accessible to the bureau through its electronic database and must include tracking of all of the following:
- For a grower or processor, a seed-to-sale tracking system that tracks the medical cannabis from seed to plant until medical cannabis is sold to a dispensary.
- For a dispensary, medical cannabis from purchase from the grower/processor to sale to a patient or caregiver and that includes information that verifies the validity of an identification card presented by the patient or caregiver.
- For a medical cannabis organization, a daily log of each day’s beginning inventory, acquisitions, amounts purchased and sold, disbursements, disposals and ending inventory. The tracking system must include prices paid and amounts collected from patients and caregivers.
- For a medical cannabis organization, a system for the recall of defective medical cannabis.
- For a medical cannabis organization, a system to track the plant waste resulting from the growth of medical cannabis or other disposal, including the name and address of any disposal service.
Additional tracking requirements — Additionally, each medical cannabis organization must track the following:
- Security and surveillance
- Recordkeeping and record retention
- The acquisition, possession, growing, and processing of medical cannabis
- Delivery and transportation, including amounts and method of delivery
- Dispensing, including amounts, pricing, and amounts collected from patients and caregivers
Reporting — Within one year of the issuance of the first permit to a medical cannabis organization, and every three months thereafter in a form and manner prescribed by the bureau, the following information must be provided to the bureau, which will compile the information and post it on the bureau’s website:
- The amount of medical cannabis sold by a grower and a processor during each three-month period.
- The price of amounts of medical cannabis sold by growers and processors as determined by the bureau.
- The amount of medical cannabis purchased by each dispensary in this state.
- The cost of amounts of medical cannabis to each dispensary in amounts as determined by the bureau.
- The total amount and dollar value of medical cannabis sold by each dispensary in the three-month period.
Storage and transportation.
The bureau will develop rules relating to the storage and transportation of medical cannabis to provide for the following:
- Requirements relating to shipping containers and packaging.
- The manner in which trucks, vans, trailers or other carriers will be secured.
- Security systems that include a numbered seal on the trailer.
- Obtaining copies of drivers’ licenses and registrations and other information related to security and tracking.
- Use of GPS systems.
- The number of drivers or other security required to ensure against storage or in-transit losses.
- Recordkeeping for delivery and receipt of medical cannabis products.
- Requirements to utilize any electronic tracking system required by the bureau.
- Transporting medical cannabis to a grower/processor, approved laboratory or dispensary.
AT THE TIME OF WRITING, THESE RULES HAVE NOT BEEN DETERMINED.
Growers and processors must contract with a bureau-approved independent laboratory to test medical cannabis. The bureau is required to ensure that there is sufficient testing capacity to meet patient demand.
A county may pass an ordinance by a vote of the residents of the county to prohibit the operation or location of a medical cannabis organization within that particular county.
West Virginia Medical Cannabis Dispensary Regulations
Filing with the bureau — Prior to dispensing medical cannabis to a patient or caregiver, a dispensary must file the receipt information with the bureau utilizing the electronic tracking system. When filing receipts under this subsection, the dispensary must dispose of any electronically recorded certification information as provided by rule.
30-day supply — When dispensing medical cannabis to a patient or caregiver, the dispensary may not dispense an amount greater than a 30-day supply until the patient has exhausted all but a seven-day supply provided pursuant to §16A-4-5 of this code.
Safety insert — When a dispensary dispenses medical cannabis to a patient or caregiver, the dispensary must provide to that patient or caregiver, as appropriate, a safety insert. The insert must be developed and approved by the bureau. The insert must provide the following information:
- Lawful methods for administering medical cannabis in individual doses.
- Any potential dangers stemming from the use of medical cannabis.
- How to recognize what may be problematic usage of medical cannabis and how to obtain appropriate services or treatment for problematic usage.
- How to prevent or deter the misuse of medical cannabis by minors or others.
- Any other information as determined by the bureau.
Sealed and labeled package — Medical cannabis must be dispensed by a dispensary to a patient or caregiver in a sealed, properly labeled, and child-resistant package. The labeling must contain the following:
- The information required to be included in the receipt provided to the patient or caregiver, as appropriate, by the dispensary.
- The packaging date.
- Any applicable date by which medical cannabis should be used.
- A warning stating:
"This product is for medicinal use only. Women should not consume during pregnancy or while breastfeeding except on the advice of the practitioner who issued the certification and, in the case of breastfeeding, the infant"s pediatrician. This product might impair the ability to drive or operate heavy machinery. Keep out of reach of children."
- The amount of individual doses contained within the package and the species and percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol.
- A warning that the medical cannabis must be kept in the original container in which it was dispensed.
- A warning that unauthorized use is unlawful and will subject the person to criminal penalties.
- Any other information required by the bureau.
General rules — A dispensary may only dispense medical cannabis in an indoor, enclosed, secure facility located within this state, as determined by the bureau.
A dispensary may not operate on the same site as a facility used for growing and processing medical cannabis.
A dispensary may not be located within one thousand feet of the property line of a public, private or parochial school or a daycare center.
A dispensary may, pursuant to bureau conditions and limitations, sell medical devices and instruments which are needed to administer medical cannabis under this act.
Promulgation — In order to facilitate the prompt implementation of this act, the bureau may promulgate emergency rules that will expire not later than two years following the publication of the emergency rule.
Expiration — The bureau"s authority to adopt emergency rules under subsection (a) of this section will expire July 1, 2021. Rules adopted after this period will be promulgated as provided by law.
Publication — The bureau will begin publishing emergency rules in the State Register no later than six months after the effective date of this section.
Criminal diversion of medical cannabis by practitioners — In addition to any other penalty provided by law, a practitioner who intentionally and knowingly certifies a person as being able to lawfully receive medical cannabis or who otherwise provides medical cannabis to a person who is not lawfully permitted to receive medical cannabis, is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than five years.
Criminal diversion of medical cannabis — In addition to any other penalty provided by law, any employee, financial backer, operator or principal of any qualifying entities who intentionally and knowingly sells, dispenses, trades, delivers or otherwise provides medical cannabis to a person who is not lawfully permitted to receive medical cannabis, is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than five years.
Criminal retention of medical cannabis — In addition to any other penalty provided by law, any patient or caregiver who intentionally and knowingly possesses, stores or maintains an amount of medical cannabis in excess of the amount legally permitted is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in jail for not more than six months.
Adulteration of medical cannabis — In addition to any other penalty provided by law, any person who adulterates, fortifies, contaminates or changes the character or purity of medical cannabis from that set forth on the patient’s or caregiver’s identification card, is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than five years.
Disclosure of information — In addition to any other penalty provided by law, any employee, financial backer, operator or principal who discloses, except to authorized persons for official governmental or health care purposes, any information related to the use of medical cannabis:
- A medical cannabis organization.
- A health care medical cannabis organization or university participating in a research study under article thirteen of this chapter.
- A clinical registrant or academic clinical research center under article fourteen of this chapter.
- An employee of the bureau.
Civil penalties — In addition to any other remedy available to the bureau, the bureau may assess a civil penalty for a violation of this act, a rule promulgated under this act or an order issued under this act or rule, subject to the following:
- The bureau may assess a penalty of not more than $10,000 for each violation and an additional penalty of not more than $1,000 for each day of a continuing violation. In determining the amount of each penalty, the bureau will take the following factors into consideration:
- The gravity of the violation.
- The potential harm resulting from the violation to patients, caregivers or the general public.
- The willfulness of the violation.
- Previous violations, if any, by the person being assessed.
- The economic benefit to the person being assessed for failing to comply with the requirements of this act, a rule promulgated under this act or an order issued under this act or rule.
- If the bureau finds that the violation did not threaten the safety or health of a patient, caregiver or the general public and the violator took immediate action to remedy the violation upon learning of it, the bureau may issue a written warning in lieu of assessing a civil penalty.
- A person who aids, abets, counsels, induces, procures or causes another person to violate this act, a rule promulgated under this act or an order issued under this act or rule shall be subject to the civil penalties provided under this subsection.
Sanctions — In addition to the penalties provided in subsection (a) of this section, and any other penalty authorized by law, the bureau may impose the following sanctions:
- Revoke or suspend the permit of a person found to be in violation of this act, a rule promulgated under this act or an order issued under this act or rule.
- Revoke or suspend the permit of a person for conduct or activity or the occurrence of an event that would have disqualified the person from receiving the permit.
- Revoke or suspend the registration of a practitioner for a violation of this act or a rule promulgated or an order issued under this act or for conduct or activity which would have disqualified the practitioner from receiving a registration.
- Suspend a permit or registration of a person pending the outcome of a hearing in a case in which the permit or registration could be revoked.
- Order restitution of funds or property unlawfully obtained or retained by a permittee or registrant.
- Issue a cease and desist order.
A person who aids, abets, counsels, induces, procures or causes another person to violate this act shall be subject to the sanctions provided under this subsection.
Costs of action — The bureau may assess against a person determined to be in violation of this act the costs of investigation of the violation.
Minor violations — Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the assessment of a civil penalty or the imposition of a sanction for a minor violation of this act if the bureau determines that the public interest will be adequately served under the circumstances by the issuance of a written warning.
Other restrictions — This act does not permit any person to engage in and does not prevent the imposition of any civil, criminal or other penalty for the following:
- Undertaking any task under the influence of medical cannabis when doing so would constitute negligence, professional malpractice or professional misconduct.
- Possessing or using medical cannabis in a state correctional facility or Regional Jail Authority facility, including a facility owned or operated or under contract with the Bureau of Corrections or the Regional Jail Authority, which houses inmates serving a portion of their sentences on parole or other community correction program.
- Possessing or using medical cannabis in a youth detention center or other facility which houses children adjudicated delinquent, including the separate, secure state-owned facility or unit utilized for sexually violent delinquent children.
Pending Legislative Rules
Medical Cannabis Act
- 64-109 Medical Cannabis Program - General Provisions
- 64-110 Medical Cannabis Program - Growers/Processors
- 64-111 Medical Cannabis Program - Laboratories
- 64-112 Medical Cannabis Program - Dispensaries
- 64-113 Medical Cannabis Program - Safe Harbor Letter
Additional Helpful Links
- General Information
- Patient/Caregiver Information
- Grower/Processor Information
- Dispensary Information
- Physician Information
- Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Information
- Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Members Announced
- Additional Program Questions
- Correspondence from the Office of the State Treasurer (Processing of Funds Relating to Medical Cannabis) (05/10/2018)
- Correspondence from the Office of the State Treasurer (Processing of Funds Relating to Medical Cannabis) (03/01/2018)
- Jason Frame Selected to Lead West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis (02/02/2018)
- U.S. Department of Justice Enforcement Policy Press Release
- U.S. Department of Justice Memo on Enforcement
Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Meeting Documents
- West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act & Office Structure Presentation (PowerPoint 8/16)
- "Considerations for Issuing Grower, Processor or Dispensary Permits" and "Methods for Assessing Distribution of Serious Medical Conditions and Medical Cannabis Interest Among Physicians and Patients" (PowerPoint 10/11/2017)
- Work Group Membership (10/11/2017)
- Medical Cannabis: Patient and Physician Interest Survey Results and Data (PowerPoint 12/14/2017)
- West Virginia Medical Cannabis: Patient and Physician Interest Survey and Other Available Data Report (02/06/2018)
- West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Report and Recommendations (02/22/2018)