CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Medical Cannabis Act was passed by the West Virginia Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Justice in 2017. According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, since then, legal cannabis has enabled thousands of qualifying West Virginians to access a new option for treating severe or chronic conditions.
At the same time, it has encouraged economic development by creating 332 direct jobs statewide, according to Jason Frame, Director of the West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis. To date, nine dispensaries, two processors, and six growers are operational across West Virginia. Morgantown alone now has three dispensaries, two of which have opened in 2022.
- Zen Leaf opened in Morgantown in March 2022
- Trulieve opened in Morgantown in November 2021
- Cannabist opened in Morgantown earlier this month in April 2022
In addition to the over 300 direct jobs created by the industry, Frame said that 1,884 jobs in construction, security and transportation were created as a result. “As the medical cannabis industry continues to expand, opportunities for employment and patient care in West Virginia will also grow,” said Frame. “Additionally, all products dispensed have been cultivated within West Virginia’s borders at medical cannabis growth and processing facilities.”
The Office of Medical Cannabis has approved more than 7,000 applications for medical cannabis cards, according to the WVDHHR.
Success stories from chronically ill patients, an 81% increase in the number of patient cards issued since January, and a 350% increase in the number of operational dispensaries in the same time period demonstrate the positive impact this legislation and the Office of Medical Cannabis have made in West Virginia and the potential for continued development of the industry and quality of care, said the DHHR.
For more information on medical cannabis in West Virginia, such as how to register for medical cannabis or to find a dispensary, go to the Office of Medical Cannabis website.