While the state continues to hold harsh possession laws, recent bills have been passed by the Senate to allow the residents of West Virginia to pursue medicinal cannabis as a treatment option. On April 19, 2017, bill SB 386 passed with a 28-6 vote, granting seriously ill patients the legal right to register for the use and access of medical cannabis. Unfortunately, the bill had undergone serious amending and altering prior to passing the floor, making the laws surrounding the use of medical marijuana considerably restrictive.

As it stands in most states, only patients with qualifying conditions diagnosed by a certified medical practitioner will be able to access medical marijuana as a treatment option. Qualifying conditions include cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord damage, epilepsy, neuropathies, Huntington’s disease, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, intractable seizures, sickle cell anemia, or sever chronic or intractable pain.

Patients can only be diagnosed by a certified physician that has been registered with the health bureau and has completed the required four-hour course. Patients must have also have been treated by the physician for at least 6 months prior to being prescribed cannabis in order to by eligible to receive cannabis as a treatment.

Once a patient has been diagnosed by a certified physician, they must still abide by the limitations set in place by the law. Patients may only access medical cannabis in the form of pills, oils, gels, creams, ointments, tinctures, liquid, and non-whole plant forms for vaporization. Dispensaries are not permitted to sell edibles despite the fact that patients are allowed to mix cannabis into food or drink themselves. Patients are only permitted to hold up to a 30-Day supply of cannabis at a time. However, home cultivation is not allowed and patients may only obtain cannabis from regulated dispensaries.

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