Marijuana is quickly becoming legalized in more and more places around the United States and indeed, around the world. However, it’s not always clear what a state’s stance is on marijuana in terms of legality.
West Virginia is one such state that is often confused with their stance on marijuana, so you might be sitting wondering – is marijuana legal in West Virginia?
Well, the short answer is yes and no. Medicinal marijuana was legalized in 2017 but other than that, West Virginia is one of 19 states where marijuana has not yet been decriminalized.
This can get a little confusing, so we’re sure you have more questions. Luckily, we’ve got all the answers you need to do with this handy guide.
So, if you’re ready to learn more about this – then read on with us!
Marijuana Legal Status In West Virginia
Prior to April 2017, marijuana was 100% illegal in the state of West Virginia. However, thanks to Senate Bill 386 which was signed into law by Governor Jim Justice, West Virginia joined the other 28 states who have legalized marijuana for medicinal use.
However, that is the key information you must note if you are planning to head to West Virginia – as non medicinal marijuana is still illegal.
While you can buy marijuana, it must be for medicinal purposes – and it’s not exactly that easy to just say you need it.
Indeed, there are some requirements you must adhere to in order to be eligible to buy medicinal marijuana. Let’s take a look at what the law says about all of this.
Marijuana Basics In West Virginia
Here’s just some of the laws and regulations you need to know at a glance:
- West Virginia’s medicinal marijuana is overseen by The Office Of Medical Cannabis
- Edibles are illegal
- Due to not being decriminalized, unlawful possession is a misdemeanor offense
- Eligible people can purpose up to 30 days worth of marijuana
- Medicinal marijuana dispensaries have to be at least 1000 feet away from schools
- Medicinal marijuana is taxed at 10% per reporting quarter
- Metrc is West Virginia’s cannabis track and trace program
Who Can Buy Medicinal Marijuana?
As we said, you have to be eligible to purchase medicinal marijuana as recreational use is still against the law. Here’s what you need to know.
- Patients who hold valid medical identification cards can buy medicinal marijuana
- You can also purchase medicinal marijuana if you are an official carer for someone in need of it
However, it’s important to note here that if you are an official caregiver of someone who requires medicinal marijuana – this is limited to five patients. So, if you care for multiple people – be aware of this rule.
Medicinal marijuana can be found at places known as dispensaries and the operators who work there are bound by strict rules too. They must adhere to the following:
- Only dispensing marijuana in the form of pills, oils, topical creams, liquid, patches and tincture
- Unused marijuana must remain in its packaging
- All marijuana products must have correct labeling for tracking purposes
Can I Grow Marijuana In West Virginia?
No, this would be considered a serious crime. However, there is an exception to this, and that is if you are running a marijuana business legally. Having said this though, it is also pretty difficult to obtain the right legal obligations to do this.
To even apply for the permit to be a grower and marijuana processor, you must:
- Pay a non refundable $5,000 initial fee
- Pay a further $50,000 application fee for the permit (refundable if this is denied)
- Pay a renewal fee of $5,000
- Continuing doing so annually, ensuring all documents are completed and submitted 4 to 6 months in advance
Dispensary applications and the processes are very similar too, but essentially what you need to remember is that everything needs to be above board and legally in line with regulations.
If you have been found to be breaking the law, you could face significant fines and potentially a jail sentence, so be sure that you’ve done everything right if you’re planning to do this.
Why Are Edibles Illegal In West Virginia?
While the law may potentially change soon, currently edibles are illegal in West Virginia. There’s no clear reason why this is the case, but some sources suggest that this could be for the following two reasons:
- Edibles could entice others to use marijuana
- Edibles are easily concealed
Indeed, the second point is very important. There have been recent news stories where people have sneaked illegal edibles into the state disguising them as legal hemp products.
As a result, this is likely why edibles are not currently legal. However, there are some other sources that suggest this could change soon.
Will Recreational Marijuana Use Ever Be Legal In West Virginia?
This is an interesting point. The Governor has been asked this question many times and more and more he seems to suggest that his opposition to recreational (also known as adult) use of marijuana is reducing.
However, this does not mean that recreational marijuana use is going to come in any time soon. So, if you qualify for a medical marijuana card, then you should absolutely still apply for it, even if you think marijuana might soon be legal in the state.
Recreational marijuana use is illegal in the state of West Virginia, however medicinal marijuana use has been legalized since 2017. It’s vital that you understand all of the rules and regulations surrounding its use though.
Remember, if you do not fully follow the rules, you could face a misdemeanor charge or worse – so it’s in your interest to keep up with all the changes that could happen in the future.
We hope this has been helpful!
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