MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC) hosted a public sign-up event for medical cannabis patients from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 25 at the West Virginia University School of Public Health facility, located inside the Mountaineer Mall.
According to a press release, the Morgantown event is OMC’s second patient sign-up event. The first took place July 26 in Charleston. The goal of these events is to provide in-person assistance to those who are having difficulty registering as a patient. Crystal Lowe, assistant office director for OMC, said by the early afternoon more than a dozen people had stopped by.
“We’ve had about 18 patients that have come in so far, and it went really well,” Lowe said. “They seem to be very pleased once they leave here and we’ve helped them.”
This moment in time, when people can sign up for their medical cannabis cards has been a long time coming, Lowe said.
She said that is, in part, why people were “very pleased” when they left the registration site.
“They are very glad to see this moving forward,” Lowe said. “It has been a long time in coming, and it’s still a work in progress. But certainly, we are in the last leg of this race, so to speak.”
The next in-person event has not been scheduled, but Lowe said, patients do not have to wait for an event.
“They can also call our office if they need assistance with the online application,” Lowe said. “Our number is 304-356-5090. We, also, have a med-can email box that they can send email messages to if they don’t want to call. And, we do not have another event scheduled at this time, but we will plan one probably toward the southern part of the state and we will, certainly, get that out soon as to where and when that would be.”
She continued later.
“We will, definitely, help you the best we can over the phone. If you have a friend or a family member that can help you, if you’re not computer literate yourself, that’s very helpful, too. But, definitely, don’t wait because we expect a big rush of patients once they find out that the dispensaries will begin opening and we don’t want a backlog of patients. We want them to be able to get their cards as soon as possible.”
According to the OMC release, patient cards are valid only in West Virginia. Registration does not mean medical cannabis products can immediately be obtained.
To date, OMC has received more than 2,907 patient applications for medical cannabis. Patients who register early or have already registered will have the term of their patient card extended to the following:
- Register by September 30, 2021 = card is good for 2 years total (1 year original + 1 year extension)
- Register after October 1, 2021 = card is good for 1 year total
Below is what patients will need to know before attending the next in-person event:
Patients who have already been certified by a registered physician as having an applicable serious medical condition must bring the following items:
- Completed patient certification form (completed by registered physician)
- Proof of West Virginia residency, such as a current utility bill
- $50 patient ID card application fee, which must be paid by check or money order
Patients who have not already seen a registered physician must bring the following items, in addition to the above:
- At least one piece of medical documentation that lists their diagnosis, such as medical records, a letter from a doctor, or office visit summaries
- Cash, credit, or debit to pay the $149 physician evaluation fee
Patients who have a household income of 200% of the federal poverty level or less may apply for a waiver of the $50 patient ID card fee at the event. If a waiver is requested, applicants must provide their most recent W2, paystubs within the last 30 days, or proof of eligibility for low-income benefits.
Appointments are strongly encouraged and may be scheduled by calling 304-356-5090.
The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act permits West Virginia residents with serious medical conditions to procure medical cannabis for certified medical use in the following forms: pill, oil, topical forms including gels, creams or ointments, a form medically appropriate for administration by vaporization or nebulization, dry leaf or plant form, tincture, liquid or dermal patch.
In addition to the Morgantown event, eligible West Virginians can register for a medical cannabis patient card at www.medcanwv.org. A list of physicians registered to certify patients as eligible for the use of medical cannabis is available on the website.