West Virginia Cannabis and Marijuana License

West Virginia Cannabis and Marijuana License

Every state, such as California, New Jersey, etc., has its rules regarding the use of cannabis. The article below discusses what the standards are for a West Virginia Marijuana License.

Marijuana Legislation history

WV became the 29th state to pass the medical marijuana law when Gov. Jim Justice signed “SB 386” on April 19, 2017. Also known as the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act. The bill passed the House in a 76-24 vote and the Senate in a 28-6 vote.

As a result of this, they created West Virginia Medical Cannabis Commission. The Commission established rules and timelines of the statewide MMJ system. Certification for people with qualifying conditions started on July 1, 2019. However, the development of the system was initially delayed due to financial obstacles and a lack of funding.

There were huge runouts regarding banking services of the MMJ program and businesses. At first, it was illegal to obtain whole-plant cannabis. Later, the advisory board suggested allowing the natural form of a flower. And in 2020 the legislature passed “SB 339” amending “dry leaf or plant” to the existing description of the plant.

New Legislation

Later, new legislation was signed into effect. Under the law “SB 1037”, some uncertainties and financial difficulties were amended and clarified. Among them, defined terminology for health care practitioners, specifically authorized to provide people with written certifications.

They updated requirements for the cultivator, processor, and dispensary permits. Besides, they also redefined tax schedules and provided patients and caregivers with protection.
The Office finally opened the registration on February 3, 2021. In late January, the office licensed 100 dispensaries, which began the service within the following months.

The residents who want to obtain such a card should register for the MMJ program regulated by the West Virginia Bureau of Health. However, registration does not mean that products are available for obtaining.

Qualifying conditions

According to different scientific researches, hemp is an essential aid for the treatment of a wide range of clinical treatments. These include pain relief, spasticity, nausea, glaucoma, and movement disorders.

Residents with serious pathological states who want to benefit from the program must have one of the following qualifying conditions.

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Position status for human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Neuropathies
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Intractable seizures
  • Terminal illness with one year or less life expectancy


A caregiver is an authorized individual, who has the right to buy and deliver marijuana to the consumer. If the patient is a minor (younger than 18), the caregiver is designated by their legal parent or guardian.

A caregiver can have a maximum of 5 patients and be at least 21 years old. Caregivers must have a clear criminal record and submit an application to the Bureau of Health to receive a registry and an identification card.

There is also a $50 payment for the application procedures. There is an opportunity to waive in case of financial hardship.


In West Virginia, to certify for medical marijuana use, a physician has to complete a four-hour continuing medical education course and register with the Bureau of Health.

The doctor or corresponding health care practitioner has to specify in the certificate that the licensee receives therapeutic benefits from hemp use.

The certificate should also include the specific type of cannabis used in treatment. The doctor must continuously take care of the patient and evaluate if they still need medical-excuse hemp. The doctor must report to the Bureau if the person does not need it anymore.

In case physicians knowingly and intentionally certify an individual without proven qualification, they may face felony penalties.


Possession of weed in any amount is a misdemeanor crime in WV. Note that it may result in a maximum fine of $1,000 or incarceration from 90 days to 6 months.
At the same time, there is conditional discharge for the first offense of possession if it does not exceed 15 grams.

In contrast to adult-use weed, MMJ users possess up to a 30-day supply as determined by the certified healthcare practitioner.
Meanwhile, there are certain limitations concerning the types of other hemp goods. Among the pills, oils, gels, creams, tinctures, ointments, liquid, and non-whole cannabis plant forms through vaporization.

According to the new legislature, dry leaves or plant forms are also legal. Although dispensaries cannot sell edibles, you can mix cannabidiol products into food or drinks. Oils and vaporization are acceptable, while smoking is not.

Cultivation, Sale, and Distribution

In WV, the cultivation of cannabis plants is unlawful. The grower is a subject for punishment based upon the aggregate weight of the plants found at the moment. The punishment refers to both simple possession and possession with the intention to distribute.

Distribution is a felony with the punishment of imprisonment from 1 to 5 years and a penalty up to $15,000. There is a minimum of a two-year mandatory sentence for sale or distribution. Note that this refers to the offender who is:

  • 21 (or older) at the time of distribution and the controlled substance was distributed to a minor under the age of 18
  • 18 (or older) and the distribution occurred within one thousand feet of a public or private college/junior college/university/private or public elementary, vocational or secondary school

There is a mandatory minimum sentence of no less than a year for trafficking weed into the state. Objects involved in the creation and transportation processes of marijuana products, including cars, houses, and monetary funds, are liable for forfeiture. It comes after a successful prosecution of a drug distribution or manufacturing case.

Where to consume

You cannot consume weed in any public place, inside a motor vehicle, or in any rented property that specifically prohibits consumption regulations.

It is unlawful to perform any task under the influence of it, such as the operation of any motor vehicle, watercraft, or aircraft.

Patients with qualifying conditions have the right to consume MMJ in the form of pills, oils, gels, creams, tinctures, ointments, liquids, and non-whole-plant forms through vaporization. Smoking cannabis flowers is also unlawful.


In West Virginia, the Bureau of Health issues permits for 100 dispensaries, 10 processors, 10 growers, and two locations per grower. There is a list of requirements for applicants. For example, business plans, background checks, completion of a 2-hour training course, etc.

The corresponding applicants must apply for a permit and pay the fee. The amount of the payment varies. There is a $2,500 fee per dispensary application and a $5,000 fee for the grower and processor application. Annual registration fees are $50,000 for processors and growers and $10,000 for each dispensary location.

CBD and hemp rules

West Virginia’s hemp licensing initiative was amended when the bill “HB 2694” was signed in April 2019. The subsequent legislature ensured the continuation of cannabidiol (CBD) sales.

The new regulation defined it as an agricultural commodity. Meanwhile, hemp-derived cannabinoids are not controlled substances. Indeed, these are to be considered food products. To get a license, growers must apply to the Department of Agriculture.

The licenses expire on December 31 of their approval year. Individuals seeking to possess, handle, or sell hemp products do not need to obtain a license.

Ani K

Ani K

Ani is a Content Writer, YouTube scriptwriter and voiceover artist. She is currently earning BA degree in English Philology in the University of Valladolid, Spain.