Two years after Governor Jim Justice signed it into law, West Virginia still does not have a medical marijuana program.
However, lawmakers are gathered at the State Capitol in hopes of correcting the flaws during this legislative session.
Currently, people can be growers, distributors, or run dispensaries, but not a combination of those roles. However, the House is considering a bill that would allow people to multi-task in the cannabis industry.
“We found talking to people in states where this has been legal for awhile, that this is necessary to make it economically viable,” said Del. Mike Pushkin, (D).
Advocates for medical marijuana are pushing lawmakers to get the program up and running.
Advocates for medical marijuana, say it is simply taking West Virginia too long to get the program up and running.
“You know we’ve got people suffering with Parkinson’s Disease, people that need relief right now,” said Rusty Williams, a WV Medical Cannabis Patient Advocate. “So, as soon as we can get this up and running, the better off we’re all going to be.”
Another issue already being fixed is the banking-fix bill, which would allow institutions such as credit unions, to process fees and payments for medical marijuana in West Virginia. That bill is now before the State Senate.
“I was always told if you’re going to do something, do it right,” said Del. Mike Puskiin, (D) Kanawha. “We passed medical cannabis overwhelmingly two years ago. But we need to fix the bill so it works.”
Due to delays, advocates say medical marijuana won’t be available in the Mountain State until March 1 of 2020.