Following significant success at the ballot box in the 2016 elections, cannabis activists hoped that 2017 would be the year where both medical and recreational use cannabis bills would get major traction in the state legislatures. However, so far only one state has passed a successful bill in 2017. Governor Jim Justice signed into law in April Senate Bill 386, the “West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act“, making West Virginia the 29th state (plus the District of Columbia) to adopt a medical cannabis law. 62% of the US population now lives in a state that offers some form of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Although the legislation technically takes effect ninety days after passage, or July 5th 2017, experts are predicting that sales will not start until the middle of 2019. The state issue a very small number of licenses to ten growers, ten processors, and thirty dispensaries. The bill does not allow for smoking of cannabis but does allow for the sale and consumption of pills, oils, topical forms including gels, creams or ointments, vaporization or nebulization of non-leaf or plant forms, tinctures, liquids, or dermal patches.