Although West Virginia has historically been opposed to any type of legalization, recently it passed a bill that allows seriously ill patients to legally access and use marijuana for medical purposes. More progressive laws could be enacted as soon as the upcoming 2017 legislative session.
CBD from Hemp Oil in West Virginia
Hemp CBD oil is federally legal in the U.S. Individual state laws, however, are dynamic and some states have and will enact their own laws regulating hemp-derived CBD.
Medical Cannabis in West Virginia
West Virginia became the 29th U.S. state to allow the use of cannabinoids for medical purposes after Gov. Jim Justice signed into law a comprehensive medical cannabis bill in April 2017. The Medical Cannabis Act (Senate Bill 386) allows patients suffering from 15 conditions to apply for a card with permission from a licensed physician.
The law allows patients to obtain cannabinoids in the form of pills, oils, topicals, tinctures, liquid, dermal patch, or non-whole plant forms that are administered with a vaporizer. Dried marijuana flower and home cultivation of cannabis plants are prohibited.
Under West Virginia’s law, the following conditions qualify for the use of medical marijuana:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Huntington’s Disease
- Intractable Seizures
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Severe Chronic or Intractable Pain
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Spinal Cord Damage with Intractable Spasticity
- Terminal Illness
The law calls for the Bureau of Public Health to begin issuing marijuana patient ID cards on July 1, 2019.
Recreational Cannabis in West Virginia
Possession of any amount of cannabis in West Virginia is a misdemeanor, punishable by 90 days to 6 months in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000. Compared to other states where cannabis is illegal, West Virginia’s policy is relatively lenient. The state also can offer conditional discharge for first time offenders found in possession of less than 15 grams. Discharge is not a legal conviction.
Cultivation of Cannabis in West Virginia
The cultivation of cannabis in West Virginia is a criminal offense and punished based on the weight of the plants found and whether the offense is characterized as possession or possession with the intent to distribute.
West Virginia has enacted an industrial hemp program. In 2014, state lawmakers passed a bill legalizing industrial hemp by licensed growers for research purposes. The state grew and harvested its first hemp crop in 2016.