The change is part of Senate Bill 339, a package of regulations that the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) submitted for legislative approval, the news outlet reported.
The House of Delegates Judiciary Committee considered the legislation during a Feb. 5 meeting, where Del. Brandon Steele (R-Raleigh) moved to amend a DHHR rule to allow patients enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program to access the plant form for treatment. The motion was approved in a voice vote, the Cumberland Times-News reported.
The 2017 law that legalized medical cannabis in West Virginia specified that only pills, oils, topicals, vaporization, tinctures, liquids or transdermal patches were permitted in the program, according to the news outlet.
The full House of Delegates is slated to vote on S.B. 339, the Cumberland Times-News reported, and although the legislation already cleared the Senate, the Senate must now approve the amendment.
DHHR began accepting business license applications from prospective cannabis cultivators, processors, distributors and laboratories in December, even though the 2017 legislation that legalized medical cannabis in the state mandated that the program launch July 1, 2019.
The delay can be attributed, in part, to state officials’ struggle to implement a banking solution for the industry. Treasurer John Perdue awarded a banking contract to South Charleston-based Element Federal Credit Union last year to handle the funds associated with the state’s medical cannabis industry, and sales are expected to launch in 2021.