West Virginia Marijuana Laws
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. Learn more about West Virginia marijuana laws below.
Recreational Marijuana in West Virginia
Is marijuana legal in West Virginia? No, possession of any amount of marijuana 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 marijuana 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.
Medical Marijuana in West Virginia
West Virginia became the 29th U.S. state to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes after Gov. Jim Justice signed into law a comprehensive medical marijuana 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.
Initially, the law allowed patients to obtain marijuana in the form of pills, oils, topicals, tinctures, liquid, dermal patch, or non-whole plant forms that are administered with a vaporizer only. In March 2020, Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill allowing sales of “dry leaf or plant form” marijuana. Home cultivation of marijuana 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
Consumption of CBD Hemp Oil in West Virginia
Hemp-derived CBD products are legal under Federal Law in the United States; however, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.
Cultivation of Cannabis in West Virginia
Cultivation of marijuana in West Virginia is a criminal offense. Punishments vary based on the size of the grow, as well as whether the grow is characterized as possession or possession with the intent to distribute.
West Virginia has legalized the cultivation of hemp by licensed growers. In 2002, the West Virginia Legislature approved Senate Bill 447 to recognize hemp containing no more than 1 percent THC as an agricultural crop. Since the federal legalization of commercial hemp in December 2018, West Virginia has had its hemp program proposal approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.West Virginia’s hemp law allows farmers to grow, harvest and sell the plant commercially.
Legal Status of Other U.S. States
Stay up to date on the latest state legislation, referendums, and public opinion polls. Our Marijuana Legalization Map allows you to browse the current status of medical and recreational marijuana laws in other U.S. states and territories.
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New cannabis bill to be introduced during 2020 West Virginia Legislative Session
Posted: Jan 21, 2020 / 06:11 PM EST / Updated: Jan 22, 2020 / 11:33 AM EST
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – One of the hot button issues being debated in the 2020 Legislative Session is marijuana, and we could soon see a bill decriminalizing its use being introduced as early as next week.
Delegate Sammi Brown, (D) Jefferson, says she hopes to introduce a bill she calls the “normalizing cannabis act” within a week.
The bill is a re-draft of house bill 3108 which she introduced last year.
“What if we had something that put a big green light out there, no pun intended, that said come on home, and this might be it,” says Brown.
The bill will focus on criminal justice reforms and de-stigmatizing cannabis by expunging certain possession charges and work towards non-criminal adult use. Brown says she hopes decriminalization will entice people back to the Mountain State. She also thinks by expunging some criminal records – more people will be able to find work. Those opposed say otherwise.
“If you’re prone to using drugs and other substances I think probably an employer would want to know that,” Del. Jim Butler, (R) Mason, tells 13 News.
Delegate Tom Fast, (R) Fayette, says, “to just simply say something is no longer going to be illegal I think is very imprudent, if we were going to take that route why wouldn’t we just decriminalize heroin and any other drug,”
Medical cannabis advocates, however, support the proposal. “One of my major issues with the Medical Cannabis Act was it is very restrictive as far as the conditions we are going to allow doctors to recommend cannabis for…if we decriminalize that is going to open up access for people who would not otherwise have that access,” says Rusty Williams, a patient advocate for the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board.
While some lawmakers and advocates are excited about the bill being introduced they say they are very aware of work that still needs to be done to de-stigmatize marijuana. Last week members of the democratic caucus requested the department of commerce fast track an economic impact of adult-use cannabis study.
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One of the hot button issues being debated in the 2020 Legislative Session is marijuana, and we could soon see a bill decriminalizing its use being introduced as early as next week.