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With Bill Passage, West Virginia Set to Become 29th MMJ State

April 6, 2017
(David Smith/AP)
*Update April 19, 3:45 EDT: Gov. Jim Justice signs SB386 into law*

There are now 29 states where medicinal marijuana can be prescribed and purchased, as West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed into law SB386, which legalizes the production, sale, and use of medical cannabis.

Gov. Justice had publicly expressed support for legal access to medicinal marijuana, and was expected to sign the bill into law.

SB 386 was introduced by Sen. Richard Ojeda (D-Logan), and received initial approval from the state Senate last week by a vote of 28-6. The House substantially amended the bill before approving it on Tuesday (76-24).

A new version of the bill was then passed by the Senate on Wednesday afternoon (28-6). The House signed off on the final version on Friday, 74-24.

Though it’s a step in the right direction, the West Virginia law does leave a few things to be desired. The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act charges the state Bureau of Public Health with regulating medical cannabis growers, processors, and dispensaries.

Patients that have specifically listed qualifying conditions will be allowed to use cannabis extracts, tinctures, and other preparations of marijuana, but not cannabis in flower or leaf form. So no, you will not be able to smoke medical cannabis in the Mountaineer state.

“Some of the House amendments to the bill are concerning, but it still has the potential to provide relief to thousands of seriously ill West Virginians,” said Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). Simon is a West Virginia native and graduate of West Virginia University. “We commend the Legislature for passing this compassionate and much-needed legislation, and we encourage Gov. Justice to sign it into law.”

Simon noted that West Virginia is the third state in a row to pass a medicinal cannabis bill through a Republican-controlled state legislature.

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Gage Peake

Gage Peake is a former staff writer for Leafly, where he specialized in data journalism, sports, and breaking news coverage. He's a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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  • Grow Your Own

    “Patients that have specifically listed qualifying conditions will be allowed to use cannabis extracts, tinctures, and other preparations of marijuana, but not cannabis in flower or leaf form.”
    Does West Virginia’s passage of SB 386 include Hash Oil Cartridges for your Vape Pen ? if not has a lot to be desired. I am a Medical Marijuana Patient and Inhaling the Smoke or Vapors from the Cannabis is the only way to “Temporarily” cure my ills. Cannabis extracts, tinctures, and other preparations of marijuana don’t seem to bring on the desired effect for me & I am sure other Patients feel the same.

    • ALAN GANN

      I AGREE!! BILLS LIKE THIS ONE ARE IN NO WAY A MEDICAL CANNABIS BILL!! BUT LIES TO PUT OFF THE REAL HELP PEOPLE NEED AND CAN NOT GET BECAUSE OF THE GREED AND CORRUPTION OF POLITICIANS AND THEIR RICH BRIBERS THINKING IT MORE IMPORTANT TO GET RICHER THEN TO END THE NEEDLESS SUFFERING OF SO MANY!! #MakeItLegal

  • ALAN GANN

    IF IT IS NOT FOR USE OF THE WHOLE PLANT IT IS NOT A MEDICAL CANNABIS BILL BUT A CBD BILL!! STOP LYING IN ALL THESE STORIES AND TELL THE TRUTH!! UNTIL IT IS A WHOLE CANNABIS PLANT BILL IT WILL NEVER BE A REAL MEDICAL CANNABIS BILL!! WE NEED ACCESS TO THE WHOLE PLANT SO WE CAN LIVE WHOLE LIVES!! PERIOD!! MOST OF THE STATES DO NOT HAVE MEDICAL CANNABIS AT ALL!! I HAVE CRPS/RSD AND OIL DOES NOTHING TO HELP ME SO BILLS LIKE THIS ARE LIES WHEN SAID TO BE MEDICAL CANNABIS BILLS SO PLEASE STOP!!! LEAFLY I CAN NOT TELL YOU HOW MUCH THIS IS SICKENING TO ME EVERY TIME I SEE YOU DO IT!!