West Virginia’s medical cannabis law has been passed over three years ago, but the implementation of the program is taking longer than expected, said Coal Valley News. The good news is that the state’s agency for its MMJ program still eyes a Spring 2021 launch.
This is not the first time that the launch was delayed. Over the three years after the law’s passing, the projected date of launch has been moved a few times.
Office of Medical Cannabis executive director Jason Frame said that the approval process for applicants is still on-going. These applicants are composed of growers, processors, and dispensaries. Applications for physicians who wanted to be certified cannabis medical professionals started earlier this year.
Frame clarified that the virus pandemic did not affect the program’s projected period of launch. In fact, all applications for cultivators are expected to be finalized by late September this year. Growers with success applications are also set to be informed about this development within the summer.
According to the state’s medical cannabis law, which was passed back in April 2017, the state will have 10 growers, 10 processors and 100 dispensaries. The reason that the processing of applications is taking longer than expected is that the agency received applications almost twice these numbers. One hundred and ninety-nine dispensaries applied, while almost 40 applications were submitted each for growers and processors. Moreover, some applications even have almost a thousand pages.
The executive director emphasized that the agency will only be responsible for finishing the application. After this, the responsibility for the full launch will fall on the cannabis companies. However, Frame clarified that “[Spring 2021 is] still what we’re shooting for – it is a very tight timeline – and quite a bit out of our control as the state.”
He added, “Once we announce the permit holders, the responsibility for the rollout will shift, to a certain extent, to the industry. They’ll have to start building out their facilities; and again, a lot of that is out of our control.”
With regards to whether or not counties will have access to these services and products once they are in the market, Frame said that it depends on their county laws. The state’s law has a provision that allows each of the 55 counties to have the discretion to allow the operation of cannabis businesses in their jurisdiction. He noted that many counties still have not given the authorization for medical cannabis businesses.
A Guide for Buying MMJ Products in WV
Now that you have an idea as to when West Virginians will have access to medical marijuana, you might want to prepare yourself for when the time finally comes. If you are new to the scene, then this simple guide can help you make your very first purchase come Spring 2021:
Consult with Your Doctor
Like most medical marijuana programs across the country, WV’s program will have a list of requirements you need to fulfill. This could include a physician’s certification stating that you have one of the qualifying conditions. Some of these medical conditions include cancer, epilepsy, and spinal cord damage, just to name a few.
This is why you should check with your doctor before purchasing MMJ products. If your doctor is a non-cannabis professional, then they can refer you to a qualified physician. These professionals will not only provide you with a certification needed for your application, but they will also help you understand the effects of such products as well as the proper consumption of it.
Always Check Medical Marijuana Laws
By the time the industry is fully operational, the medical marijuana law in West Virginia will already be a few years old. This means that you have the opportunity to learn as much as you can about the law so that you can avoid unknowingly breaking it. However, keep in mind that some changes can occur over time, such as amendments and additional provisions.
So, it is only smart to always check the state’s laws or consult a professional about this subject. This way, you do not have to worry about making legal blunders. Some of the things you should take note of are the amount you can carry at a time, where to legally purchase products, and the acceptable cannabinoid content of each item.
Do Your Research
Not all cannabis products work the same for everyone. There are some medical marijuana offerings that tend to have different effects on users, which is why it’s essential to research what works best for you and your needs. After all, there are more than 100 cannabinoids in existence that have already been identified.
There are cannabis strains that highlight its ability to energize and boost productivity levels, perfect for when you’re in a midday slump at home. However, there are also other strains and products which produce the alternative, meaning you’ll most likely feel more relaxed and comfortable while under the influence.
Likewise, you should know that there is no one way to consume marijuana products. Besides smoking or inhalation, one of the quickest and most effective methods of consumption today is through edibles or even tinctures. Bear in mind that these also have varying timeframes of effectiveness, with tinctures being easily absorbed into the bloodstream compared to edibles.
Everything is good in moderation, even in cannabis. Although this drug bears numerous benefits, it’s always to go low and slow, especially for those who are just starting in the field. The recommended starting dose is typically 2.5 milligrams to 5 milligrams for women and 5 to 10 for men.
Starting with a low dosage allows you to gauge your capacity in dealing with the effects of marijuana. At the same time, it helps you savor the effects of the product and its medicinal properties.
The Bottom Line
With West Virginia’s medical cannabis program projected to be launched next year, you still have plenty of time to know more about the law surrounding it. So, make sure to do your part in educating yourself about the law and the effects of these products on your medical condition.