Medical Cannabis

The burgeoning industry of medical cannabis is a highly regulated venture featuring a multitude of complex and evolving local, state and federal laws.  Several states have passed laws that broadly legalize the medical use of cannabis in some form.  The state of West Virginia has enacted such legislation, making it possible for individuals and businesses to participate as a grower, harvester, processor and/or distributor of medical cannabis.  While this presents great opportunity for the Mountain State, strict requirements and regulations apply. 

Bowles Rice counsels individuals and businesses who are interested in exploring or growing a business in the medical cannabis industry.  As a full-service firm offering capabilities in a wide variety of practice areas, Bowles Rice also has vast experience advising clients in similarly regulated products and industries, such as alcohol, hospitality and gaming, banking and finance, health care and energy.   The totality of our work makes us uniquely qualified to assist those seeking to navigate these evolving areas of state and federal law.  Specifically, our attorneys can assist with the following:

The West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC) is currently reviewing applications for the growing, processing and dispensing of Medical Cannabis.  It is anticipated that the OMC will be issuing permits before the end of 2020.

A brief summary of the related state law is listed below.  Bowles Rice attorneys are well positioned to help clients interpret and accordingly comply with the laws in this heavily regulated product environment. 

West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act

In 2017, state lawmakers approved West Virginia Senate Bill 386 allowing for cannabis to be administered for certified medical use by a West Virginia resident with a serious medical condition.  The Act strictly limits the use by approved patients to specific forms of cannabis, including pills, oils, gels, creams, ointments, tinctures and liquids; it does not allow for the private growing or smoking of marijuana for recreational use.  Only licensed, regulated dispensaries can issue cannabis products, and those products can only be issued in the approved forms.  Legislation passed in 2019 further facilitates the implementation of West Virginia’s medical cannabis program, and permitting for interested growers, processors and dispensaries is expected to take place over the course of the next year.

DISCLAIMER: Marijuana is an illegal Class I drug pursuant to United States federal law.  As legal counsel, Bowles Rice may counsel or assist clients regarding conduct expressly permitted under West Virginia Senate Bill 386.  However, all activities related to marijuana are currently illegal under the federal laws of the United States and nothing contained on this website is intended to assist in any way with violation of applicable federal or state law.

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