Medical Cannabis

Julio Cortez / AP Photo

Despite legislation from 2017 that allowed cannabis to be legal for medical use on July 1 of this year, West Virginia officials say they’re still years away from the first sale. That’s -- at least in part -- because of a hangup with finding a banking solution to get around federal law. State health officials say they also have to implement permitting and licensing for patients and those who want to start businesses within the industry. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, despite legislation passed in 2017 that allowed cannabis to be legal for medical use in West Virginia, officials say they’re still years away from the first sale. That’s -- at least in part -- because of a hangup with finding a banking solution to get around federal law.

State health officials say they also have to implement permitting and licensing for patients and those who want to start businesses within the industry. Dave Mistich gives us a look at the stalled program and what’s needed to get it off the ground.

Marina Riker / AP Photo

Despite legislation that called for West Virginia’s medical cannabis program to launch this week, state health officials say they’re still years away from the first sale in the state. One reason for the delay has been the state's need for a third-party vendor to handle banking services. 

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Hours ahead of a midnight deadline to take action on bills from the regular legislative session, Gov. Jim Justice has announced a final set of approvals and vetoes.

Of the 294 bills passed this regular session, Justice signed 266 pieces of legislation and vetoed 28.

Richard Vogel / AP Photo

The West Virginia Legislature has cleared a bill that provides a banking solution for the state’s medical cannabis program. The measure passed the Senate unamended, which sends the bill to Gov. Jim Justice.

The Senate passed House Bill 2538 on a 29-4 vote. Republican Sens. Mike Azinger (Wood), Donna Boley (Pleasants), Rollin Roberts (Raleigh) and Eric Tarr (Putnam) voted against the measure.

SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – is now back in the Senate, and the chamber is expected next week to consider the massive bill as amended by the House of Delegates. In this reporter roundtable, host Suzanne Higgins speaks with fellow statehouse reporters on the evolution of SB 451, and we explore other issues moving through the legislative process.

West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia lawmakers have gathered in Charleston to discuss some hot-button issues as part of interim committee meetings.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo


Gov. Jim Justice called legislators back into session this week to fix laws passed during the regular legislative session. But addressing flaws in the state’s medical cannabis program wasn’t on the special session call. Democrats are working outside the regular lawmaking process to fix banking issues within the cannabis industry, but the viewpoint of a federal prosecutor seems to be having some influence on the progress.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice talks about his budget proposal during a stop on his Save Our State Tour on Thursday, March 3, 2017, at Fairmont State University.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated: May 21, 2018 at 2:30 p.m.

 

Gov. Jim Justice has issued a call for a special session that will coincide with May interims. Lawmakers are being asked to address clean-ups to various bills passed during the 2018 session.