Businesses eager to become part of West Virginia’s burgeoning medical marijuana market will soon be able to apply for licenses as growers, processors and dispensaries.
On November 19, 2019, it was announced that the state will take the next major step forward with their medical marijuana program that was slated to begin in July. Though overdue, the announcement marks a breakthrough for the program lawmakers created over two years ago.
The Office of Medical Cannabis will begin accepting permit applications for medical cannabis growers, processors, dispensaries, and laboratories on December 19, 2019. The office will accept applications through February 18, 2020.
Governor Jim Justice singed Senate Bill 386 into law on April 19, 2017, which legalized medical cannabis for those with specific medical conditions. The law was originally intended to take effect in July 2018, but remained unsuccessful in doing so for several years.
Delays included issues with state banking after the state treasurer’s banking vendor refused to process marijuana funds because of its federal illegality. To resolve this, state lawmakers passed HB 2538 in March 2019 to allow financial institutions, including credit unions, to bid on contracts to process fees and other transactions collected under the program. After the bill was implemented and a financial institution was selected to provide banking services, the state was able to give the green light to finally move forward.
Additionally, lawmakers also passed a medical marijuana vertical integration bill, SB 1037, in May 2019. The legislation, with the proper corresponding permits, allows one business to grow, process and sell a product.
Types of Permits Available:
- Grower’s Permit – Up to 10 permits to be issued by the state.
- Processor’s Permit – Up to 10 permits to be issued by the state.
- Dispensary Permit – Up to 100 permits to be issued by the state.
Applicants will pay a nonrefundable $2,500 application fee per dispensary application and $5,000 application fee per grower or processor application. Registration fees are $10,000 for each dispensary location and $50,000 for grower and processors.
A 10% tax is levied on sales from dispensaries to patients or caregivers. Patients are initially charged a $50 fee for an identification card that can be waived in the case of financial hardship.
The applications will require specific business plans including, but not limited to, the following:
- Employment policies and procedures.
- See our Employee Manual Template
- Security policies and protocols
- See our Security Plan Template
- Maintenance and sanitation of the site or the facility, or both.
- Proper handling and storage of any solvent, gas or other chemical used in growing or processing medical cannabis in accordance with this rule and other applicable laws, rules and regulations.
- See our Product Safety Plan Template
If you’re interested in starting a medical marijuana business in West Virginia, download our West Virginia Marijuana Business Plan Package that consists of the above templates and several others including:
- An Informational Overview of West Virginia’s medical marijuana laws
- An Application Guide and Checklist that provides a detailed summary and checklist of all action items that will need to be completed before the submission your application
- A Business Plan Template that will provide a solid foundation to draft the required plans and executive summary for your business
- A Financial Plan Template to provide you and your investors with a comprehensive 3-year projection of what can be expected when selling marijuana