West Virginia Advisory Board to Certify All Who Qualify for Medical Cannabis
The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve a proposal that would allow physicians to recommend medical cannabis to any patient they think could benefit from it, WOWK reports. The plan still requires approval from the full board, but the reforms are supported by the state Office of Medical Cannabis.
Current state law only allows patients with one of 14 qualifying conditions medical cannabis access.
Jesse Forbes, the attorney member for the advisory board, argued that patients—rather than industry—are the ones that are supposed to benefit from the medical cannabis program. She added that if lawmakers “wanted to create an industry they would’ve passed a recreational bill.”
“To be clear doctors are not prescribing cannabis in West Virginia, they can’t as a matter of federal law. But what they can do is certify patients that need access. And right now as our list is written its very narrow.”—Forbes via WOWK
Rusty Williams, the board’s patient advocate, said expanding the list would “help everybody.”
“We’re leaving a lot of people out if we adhere to that list and not only are we leaving folks out,” he remarked during the meeting, “but also we’re putting barriers in front of the industry that’s making it hard for some folks to even get the doors open to the dispensaries.”
The West Virginia Senate has twice passed a bill to allow edibles in the limited program—both this year and last—but neither bill has been approved by the House of Delegates. Patients in the state only have access to pills, oils, topicals, and vape products and registration only began last month—four years after lawmakers approved the reforms.