December 31, 2023 4 min read

West Virginia’s stance on cannabis has evolved over time, mirroring the changing landscape across the country. The state has witnessed a shift from stringent regulations to broader acceptance of medical marijuana. 

Let’s explore the complexities of West Virginia's cannabis laws, from possession limits and cultivation rules to the legal implications and the specific channels for obtaining and distributing cannabis within the state.

Table of Contents
Is Cannabis Legal in West Virginia?
West Virginia Cannabis Laws
Penalties for Marijuana-Related Crimes
Where to Buy Cannabis Online

Key Takeaways

  • Cannabis is legal for medical use in West Virginia. 
  • Medical patients can possess up to a 30-day supply based on their doctor’s recommendation. 
  • There are penalties for possessing more than the allowable amount of cannabis, for unlicensed sales, and for consuming in public spaces. 

Is Cannabis Legal in West Virginia?

Cannabis flower that is grown outdoors for sale in West Virginia dispensaries

Medical marijuana has been legal in West Virginia since 2017, but recreational use remains prohibited. To qualify, individuals must have specific medical conditions outlined in the state's Medical Cannabis Act. The Office of Medical Cannabis oversees this program, allowing patients to buy up to a 30-day supply from licensed dispensaries.

Regulations for Medical Use

In West Virginia, medical cannabis is legal for those with a medical card. Medical patients enjoy the same rights as adult use consumers, but may also:

  • Buy and possess up to a 30 day supply as determined by their doctor
  • Possess different forms of cannabis available in dispensaries, such as flower and concentrates. Edibles are not legal in West Virginia. 
  • Use cannabis if under the age of 21 with a doctor's recommendation. Users under 18 must designate a caregiver to purchase and administer cannabis. 
  • Consume cannabis in a private residence or approved medical facility. 

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis in West Virginia

In West Virginia, a doctor can recommend cannabis for:

  • ​​Cancer
  • Position status for human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity 
  • Epilepsy 
  • Neuropathies
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Crohn’s disease 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder 
  • Intractable seizures
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain
  • Terminal illness that is defined as a medical prognosis of life expectancy of approximately one year or less if the illness runs its normal course​

Restrictions

In West Virginia, licensed cannabis stores sell marijuana within specified limits. Possession exceeding these amounts is illegal for adults and medical marijuana patients. Regulations include:

  • Possession of non-medical cannabis is illegal.
  • Only registered patients with specific conditions can access medical marijuana, limited to a 30-day supply.
  • Edible cannabis is prohibited; allowable forms include oils, pills, liquids, and topicals.
  • Home cultivation for personal use is not permitted for qualifying patients.
  • Commercial cannabis activities are restricted to licensed entities.
  • Consumption is limited to private residences; public spaces are off-limits.
  • Delivery of marijuana, even medicinal, is not allowed in the state.

West Virginia Cannabis Laws

  • Senate Bill 32: Aims to permit edible medical marijuana, avoiding shapes attractive to children
  • Senate Bill 90: Seeks to limit the penalty for marijuana possession to a maximum fine of $1,000
  • Senate Bill 85: Aims to reclassify simple cannabis possession as a civil violation instead of a misdemeanor
  • House Bill 2060: Looks to reduce penalties for possessing small amounts of cannabis or paraphernalia
  • House Bill 2517: Proposes removing cannabis from the testing requirements of workplace screening
  • House Bill 3205: Aims to clarify employer-related provisions regarding medical cannabis use
  • Senate Bill 88: Seeks to permit medical marijuana prescriptions in edible form
  • House Bill 2756: Proposes reporting medical cannabis to the state's controlled substance monitoring database
  • Senate Bill 167: Aims to legalize adult personal possession and use, with provisions for local sales and taxes
  • Senate Bill 320: Seeks legislative rulemaking for dispensaries under the Medical Cannabis Program
  • Senate Bill 521: Aims to allow licensed processors to make medicinal marijuana in edible form for sale
  • House Bill 2091: Seeks to legalize marijuana possession for adults aged 21 and older
  • House Bill 2238: Aims to permit limited personal cultivation of marijuana plants for registered patients
  • House Bill 2255: Aims to authorize specific laboratories for cannabis testing
  • House Bill 2267: Seeks to permit eligible individuals to possess and smoke medical cannabis
  • House Bill 2318: Aims to allow attending physicians to certify patients for medical marijuana therapy based on professional assessment

Penalties for Marijuana-related Crimes in West Virginia

Possession:

  • Misdemeanor punishable by 90 days to 6 months imprisonment and a fine up to $1,000.
  • Conditional discharge possible for the first offense of possession under 15 grams or synthetic cannabis.

Sale or Distribution:

  • Felony carrying a sentence of 1 to 5 years imprisonment and a fine up to $15,000.
  • Trafficking into WV carries similar penalties.
  • Mandatory 2-year minimum for sale to minors or within 1,000 feet of schools.

Cultivation:

  • Penalties based on the aggregate weight, treated as possession or intent to distribute.

Hash & Concentrates:

  • Considered as compounds of marijuana, classified as a Schedule I controlled substance.

Paraphernalia:

  • Managing illegal drug paraphernalia results in a misdemeanor, fined up to $5,000 or imprisoned for 6 months to 1 year.

Sentencing:

  • Second convictions for possession or distribution face double the penalty.
  • Mandatory 2-year minimum for certain distribution offenses.

Forfeiture:

  • Properties involved in drug production and transportation can be forfeited to the state.

Miscellaneous:

  • Attempting to tamper with drug screening tests incurs fines escalating from $1,000 to $10,000.
  • Mandatory driver's license revocation for DUI involving marijuana or felony committed using a vehicle.

Legal Cannabis and Buy Online Alternatives

Although cannabis is legal in many states, hemp-derived THC products are still rising as a noteworthy alternative thanks to their affordability and accessibility. Hemp-derived THC products are federally legal, unlike traditional marijuana products, meaning they can often be ordered online and shipped right to your door. 

Read “Is Delta-8 Legal? A State by State Guide to Delta-8-THC Laws” to learn more about hemp THC laws near you, then check out our Elev8 and Cloud9 Collections.

Vida Optima Cloud9 Delta-9-THC Gummies


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