Governor Jim Justice has signed the Medical Cannabis Act (Senate Bill 386). The Governor was joined for the bill signing by two of the initiative’s primary supporters, Senator Richard Ojeda (D-Logan) and Delegate Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha), as well as Senator Mike Woelfel (D-Cabell) and Dr. Rahul Gupta the State Health Officer and Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health.
The Governor also praised Delegate Michael Folk for his bravery to stand up and let the people’s voice be heard on the floor of the House of Delegates.
West Virginia is now the 29th state to allow the medical use of cannabis.
“West Virginians are compassionate people and this law will help our neighbors who are struggling with illness,” said Governor Jim Justice. “This is a bipartisan effort and I want to thank Senator Ojeda, Senator Woelfel, Delegate Pushkin, and Delegate Folk for leading the charge to get this done. The people were heard loud and clear on this bill.”
Governor Justice added, “How could you turn your back on a loved one who is suffering? This is a vehicle for our doctors to help the people.”
The legislation will allow seriously ill West Virginians to use and access medical cannabis for treatment. Patients will need to have a written certification from their doctor to use medical cannabis. Under the law, West Virginians must register with the health department to purchase medical cannabis from regulated dispensaries. Patients will be able to access the treatment in different forms, including: pills, oils, creams, ointments, gels, tinctures, and liquid.
Terminally ill patients, given one year or less to live, will be eligible for medical cannabis. In addition, cannabis can be prescribed to West Virginians suffering from chronic health conditions, for example Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, PTSD, and cancer.