CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch said it will be next year before medical marijuana can be offered to state residents through a state-run program.
“We’ve sped this up as much as possible and we’re looking at actually making the product available in Spring 2021,” Crouch said Wednesday when he spoke during Gov. Jim Justice’s coronavirus media briefing at the state capitol.
The Medical Cannabis Act, approved by state lawmakers in 2017, allows cannabis to be used for certified medical use by state residents with a serious medical condition. The law allows for 10 grower permits, 10 processor permits, up to 100 dispensary permits and unlimited lab permits. The state Office of Medical Cannabis received 285 total permit applications in February.
Crouch said Wednesday the review of the growers and processor applications has been completed and the 30-day response period for applicants is approaching its deadline. He said the review of dispensary permits, which takes a little longer, continues.
Crouch said the office has worked during the pandemic with the goal of “providing eligible state residents with the ability to procure quality tested medical cannabis as soon as possible.”
State lawmakers passed a follow-up law to the 2017 act that allows applicants to apply for permits in different categories.
The Office of Medical Cannabis announced Tuesday that it will begin accepting physician registrations for the program on Thursday.
Doctors must complete a registration application and complete a four-hour education course online.
“Physician registration and training are essential steps to make medical cannabis available to West Virginians with serious medical conditions,” office director Jason Frame said.
The registration period for physicians is indefinite.