West Virginia Marijuana Information
Marijuana legalization is a topic with much debate in West Virginia. Medical marijuana has been legal since 2017, but dispensaries won’t open their doors until 2019. It sounds like the only form of cannabis outlawed by the new medical laws is any format that is smokeable. This means patients will have access to edibles, topicals, pills, patches, etc – but no flowers.
Although many state lawmakers and leaders of the state Senate support legalization, recreational marijuana remain illegal in West Virginia. Marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug in West Virginia. Possessing any amount of marijuana products without a medical card is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to six months imprisonment and a maximum $1,000 fine. The sale or distribution of marijuana is automatically considered a felony -regardless of the amount- and carries up to five years and $15,000 in fines.
It’s no secret West Virginia is experiencing a budget crisis, which could be solved by legalizing marijuana. Democrat Mike Pushkin introduced a bill earlier this spring that would have decriminalized marijuana and made it legal for adults over 21 to grow and possess certain amounts of weed. House Bill 114 would have also generated revenue for the state by requiring individuals 21 and above to purchase a one-time “tax stamp” at the cost of $500. This tax stamp would have permitted them to use, possess, and cultivate marijuana. Failure to pay that tax stamp fee would have resulted in a fine on your state taxes. Unfortunately, this bill died.
Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler and Mitch Carmichael plus three co-sponsors introduced a sensible, compassionate medical marijuana bill in February 2016, but the legislature did not take action on the proposal. The bill, known as SB 640, would have provided relief for seriously ill patients with debilitating conditions.
West Virginia is clearly in major need of marijuana policy reform, but the leaders of the state Senate aren’t to blame. Until the two major party candidates for governor publicly take a firm position on marijuana policy, recreational marijuana will remain illegal in West Virginia. If you find yourself in a pinch with the law, check out our West Virginia Cannabis Lawyers page for help!
West Virginia FAQs
Is recreational marijuana legal in West Virginia?
No. Recreational marijuana is illegal in West Virginia and punishable by imprisonment and fines. A first-time offense possessing any amount of marijuana carries the penalty of a misdemeanor and up to six months jail time with a $1,000 maximum fine.
Is medical marijuana legal in West Virginia?
Yes! Medical marijuana became legal in 2017, but dispensaries will not be operational until 2019.
How much will it cost?
As no state licensed dispensaries are operational yet, we’re not quite sure.
Can I get my Medical Card if I’m not an West Virginia resident?
No, you must be a West Virginia resident with a qualifying ailment that has been authenticated by a state licensed doctor.
Where can I apply for it?
Can patients take purchases home if they live in another state or country?
If marijuana is legalized can I still get into trouble?
If marijuana were to become legal in West Virginia, you would not likely get into trouble by local authorities as long as you follow state laws. You can, however, run into trouble at the federal level. If you find yourself in a pinch with the law, check out our West Virginia Cannabis Lawyers page for help!
How can I work for change?
You can work for change in West Virginia by contacting your elected officials and reiterating the importance of marijuana policy reform. Additionally, you can write letters to your local newspaper editor and become involved with the Marijuana Policy Project. If you’re a college student, join Students for Sensible Drug Policy and start a chapter at your school if there isn’t already one.
Is Recreational Cannabis legal in West Virginia? Can I buy Medical Marijuana in West Virginia? Are there any Dispensaries in West Virginia? No! Click here to
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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With more states legalizing the use of marijuana it can be hard to stay up to date on West Virginia marijuana laws. Click to learn more about marijuana laws in WV!