Tag: west virginia

West Virginia Lawmaker Introduces Legislation to Legalize Marijuana and Hash

A proposal that would make marijuana and hash legal throughout West Virginia has been filed in the state’s Congress.

red headed strangerHouse Bill 3035 was filed by Delegate Sean Hornbuckle (D). According to its summary, the purpose of this bill “is to legalize the manufacture, sale and possession of marijuana and establish a regulatory program for growing, selling and testing of marijuana sold in West Virginia.”

The measure would allow those 21 and older to possess and use up to an ounce of marijuana and up to five grams of hash; they would also be allowed to grow up to six cannabis plants (with up to three allowed to be in the “mature”  stage at any given time). A system of licensed marijuana retail outlets would also be authorized.

“In the interest of allowing law-enforcement to focus on violent and property crimes, generating revenue for education and other public purposes, and individual freedom, the Legislature of the State of West Virginia finds that the use of marijuana should be legal for a person twenty-one years of age or older and taxed in a manner similar to alcohol”, states the bill’s official text. “In the interest of the health and public safety of our citizenry, the Legislature further finds and declares that marijuana should be regulated in a manner similar to alcohol so that individuals will have to show proof of age before purchasing marijuana; selling, distributing, or transferring marijuana to minors and other individuals under the age of twenty-one shall remain illegal; driving under the influence of marijuana shall remain illegal; legitimate, taxpaying business people, and not criminal actors, will conduct sales of marijuana; marijuana sold in this state will be tested, labeled, and subject to additional regulations to ensure that consumers are informed and protected; and in the interest of enacting rational policies for the treatment of all variations of the Cannabis plant, hemp should be regulated separately from strains of Cannabis with higher delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations.”

House Bill 3035 has been assigned to the House Health and Human Resources Committee.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

West Virginia Hemp Bill Signed into law by Governor Jim Justice

A West Virginia industrial hemp bill has been signed into law by the state’s governor.

Governor Jim Justice signed House Bill 2453 into law yesterday, expanding a state law that allows hemp to be grown for research purposes, to also allow hemp to be grown commercially. The proposal was passed by both the House and Senate unanimously; the combined vote was 133 to 0, with just one member of the state’s legislature not voting.

The full text of the measure, filed by Delegate John Shott (R), is found below:

AN ACT to amend and reenact §19-12E-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to expanding the list of persons the Commissioner of Agriculture may license to grow or cultivate industrial hemp.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §19-12E-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

ARTICLE 12E.  INDUSTRIAL HEMP DEVELOPMENT ACT.

  • 19-12E-5.  Industrial hemp – licensing.

(a) A person growing industrial hemp for commercial purposes shall apply to the commissioner for license on a form prescribed by the commissioner.

(b) The application for a license must include the name and address of the applicant and the legal description of the land area to be used for the production of industrial hemp.

(c) The commissioner shall require each first-time applicant for a license to file a set of the applicant=s fingerprints, taken by a law-enforcement officer, and any other information necessary to complete a statewide and nationwide criminal history check with the criminal investigation bureau of the department of justice for state processing and with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal processing.  All of the costs associated with the criminal history check are the responsibility of the applicant.  Criminal history records provided to the department under this section are confidential. The commissioner may use the records only to determine if an applicant is eligible to receive a license for the production of industrial hemp.

(d) If the applicant has completed the application process to the satisfaction of the commissioner, the commissioner shall issue the license which is valid until December 31, of the year of application.  An individual licensed under this section is presumed to be growing industrial hemp for commercial purposes.

(e) Notwithstanding any provision of this article, rule or the provisions of chapter sixty-a of this code to the contrary, the Commissioner of Agriculture may license qualified persons and state institutions of higher learning to lawfully grow or cultivate industrial hemp in this state, but institutions of higher learning may only lawfully grow industrial hemp for research and educational purposes.

You can also click here for the full text of House Bill 2453.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

West Virginia Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill Approved by Legislature, Governor Expected to Sign

West Virginia’s legislature has approved a bill that would make West Virginia the 29th state to adopt an comprehensive medical marijuana law. Governor Jim Justice is expected to sign it into law.

Senate Bill 386 received final approval in the West Virginia Legislature on Thursday and is headed to the desk of Governor Jim Justice. Justice has publicly expressed support for legal access to medical marijuana and is expected to sign the bill into law.

Senate Bill 386, introduced by Sen. Richard Ojeda (D-Logan), received initial approval from the Senate last week (28-6). The House substantially amended the bill before approving it on Tuesday (76-24). The Senate passed the new version on concurrence Wednesday afternoon (28-6), along with some minor amendments, and the House signed off on the final version Thursday (74-24).

“Some of the House amendments to the bill are concerning, but it still has the potential to provide relief to thousands of seriously ill West Virginians,” says Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), who is a West Virginia native and graduate of West Virginia University. “We commend the Legislature for passing this compassionate and much-needed legislation, and we encourage Gov. Justice to sign it into law.”

Simon continues; “This will be an important and, in some cases, life-saving program. It is critical that the state implement it promptly. We are committed to working with officials to make sure the program is as effective as possible and to get it up and running in a timely fashion. Many patients cannot afford to wait much longer.”

SB 386, titled the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, charges the Bureau of Public Health with regulating medical marijuana growers, processors, and dispensaries. Patients with specifically listed qualifying medical conditions will be allowed to use extracts, tinctures, and other preparations of marijuana, but not marijuana in flower or leaf form. This differs from the original version of the bill and the medical marijuana programs in most other states. A summary of SB 386 is available at http://bit.ly/2nbUAq3.

“There is nearly universal support for legalizing medical marijuana in the U.S., and it spans the political spectrum,” Simon said. “This is the third state in a row to pass a medical marijuana bill through a Republican-controlled House and Senate. Hopefully, this is a trend that will continue with some other states and at the federal level.”

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

West Virginia House Approves Amended Medical Marijuana Bill

An amended version of a medical marijuana legalization bill that recently passed West Virginia’s Senate has received approval from the House of Delegates.

An amended version of Senate Bill 386 was passed by the House of Delegates today through its second reading. The measure recently passed the full Senate with a 28 to 6 vote. It will now need to be passed through one more reading in the House, before being sent back to the Senate now that it’s been amended. If it passes the Senate again it will go to the desk of Governor Jim Justice, who is supportive of medical cannabis.

Initially, the measure would have legalized medical cannabis for those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician and register with the state. The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Commission would have been established to oversee a system of licensed and regulated medical cannabis dispensaries, which would have been supplied by cannabis cultivation centers.

The amended version prohibits actually smoking cannabis, leading patients to rely on methods such as pills and topicals. It also severely limits the number of dispensaries allowed throughout the state. The vote to amend the bill was 51 to 48. Delegate Mike Pushkin introduced an amendment to the amendment that would have again allowed medical marijuana to be smoked, but it was voted down 46 to 51.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

West Virginia House Gives Initial Approval to Medical Cannabis Legalization, Governor in Support

A bill to legalize medical marijuana was given initial approval today by the West Virginia House of Delegates.

west virginiaIn a rare procedural move, the House of Delegates voted 54 to 40 today to bypass the committee process and bring Senate Bill 386 directly to the floor of the House. The vote comes just a day after the measure was passed by the state’s full Senate with a 28 to 6 vote.

A second reading of the bill is planned for tomorrow. If approved through its second reading, the measure will need to be passed through one more vote in the House before being sent to Governor Jim Justice for consideration; Governor Justice says he supports medical cannabis, and is likely to sign it into law if it reaches his desk.

If it is passed into law, as is becoming more and more likely, Senate Bill 386 would allow those with a qualifying condition to possess and use cannabis for medical purposes, if they first receive a recommendation from a physician and register with the state The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Commission would be created to oversee a system of licensed cannabis dispensaries, which would be authorized to sell cannabis and cannabis products (oils, edibles, etc.) to patients.

Below are the medical conditions covered by Senate Bill 386:

(A) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that results in a patient being admitted into hospice or receiving palliative care; or

(B) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment of a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces:

(i) Cachexia, anorexia, or wasting syndrome;

(ii) Severe or chronic pain that does not find effective relief through standard pain medication;

(iii) Severe nausea;

(iv) Seizures;

(v) Severe or persistent muscle spasms; or

(vi)  Refractory generalized anxiety disorder.

(2) The commission may not limit treatment of a particular medical condition to one class of physicians.

(e) The commission may approve applications that include any other condition that is severe and for which other medical treatments have been ineffective if the symptoms reasonably can be expected to be relieved by the medical use of cannabis.

The text of Senate Bill 386 can be found by clicking here.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana Passed by Full West Virginia Senate

Medical marijuana would be legal under a bill approved today by West Virginia’s full Senate.

Substitute Senate Bill 386 was passed through its third and final reading today with a 28 to 6 vote, sending it to the House of Representatives. Passage in the House would send it to Governor Jim Justice for consideration.

The proposed legislation would legalize medical marijuana possession and use for those with a qualifying condition who receive a doctor recommendation. The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Commission would be created to oversee a regulated and licensed system of cannabis cultivation centers and dispensaries. Dispensaries would be authorized to distribute cannabis and cannabis products to qualifying patients.

The measure would allow up to 60 dispensaries to operate throughout the state. The commission overseeing these dispensaries would consist of 17 members, including members of law enforcement, attorneys and medical professionals. According to the bill, the purpose of the commission is to “develop policies, procedures, guidelines, and regulations to implement programs to make medical cannabis available to qualifying patients in a safe and effective manner.”

For the purposes of the proposed law, a dispensary is described as “an entity licensed under this article that acquires, possesses, processes, transfers, transports, sells, distributes, dispenses, or administers cannabis, products containing cannabis, related supplies, related products containing cannabis including food, tinctures, aerosols, oils, or ointments, or educational materials for use by a qualifying patient or caregiver.”

Qualifying medical marijuana conditions under Senate Bill 386 include

(A) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that results in a patient being admitted into hospice or receiving palliative care; or

(B) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment of a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces:

(i) Cachexia, anorexia, or wasting syndrome;

(ii) Severe or chronic pain that does not find effective relief through standard pain medication;

(iii) Severe nausea;

(iv) Seizures;

(v) Severe or persistent muscle spasms;

(vi)  Refractory generalized anxiety disorder; or

(vii)  Post traumatic stress disorder

The commission “may approve applications that include any other condition that is severe and for which other medical treatments have been ineffective if the symptoms reasonably can be expected to be relieved by the medical use of cannabis”, and “may not limit treatment of a particular medical condition to one class of physicians”.

The law would allow minors to become legal medical marijuana patients, though they would need an adult caregiver if they wanted to purchase cannabis or cannabis products from a dispensary.

You can click here for the full text of Senate Bill 386. 

[Side Note: West Virginia’s Senate also passed a resolution today calling on the federal government to reschedule marijuana.]

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

West Virginia Senate Votes to Legalize Medical Cannabis

West Virginia’s Senate has voted in favor of a measure to legalize medical cannabis.

The Senate passed Senate Bill 386 through its second reading yesterday, shortly after it was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bipartisan measure must now be passed through one more vote in the Senate before moving to the House of Representatives; this vote will likely come later today, as it was placed on today’s calendar for a third reading.

Senate Bill 386 would allow those with a recommendation from a physician who register with the state to possess and use cannabis and cannabis products for medical purposes. The measure would establish a system of licensed cultivation centers and dispensaries, to be overseen by the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Commission, which the bill would create.

Below qualifying medical marijuana conditions under Senate Bill 386:

(A) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that results in a patient being admitted into hospice or receiving palliative care; or

(B) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment of a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces:

(i) Cachexia, anorexia, or wasting syndrome;

(ii) Severe or chronic pain that does not find effective relief through standard pain medication;

(iii) Severe nausea;

(iv) Seizures;

(v) Severe or persistent muscle spasms; or

(vi)  Refractory generalized anxiety disorder.

(2) The commission may not limit treatment of a particular medical condition to one class of physicians.

(e) The commission may approve applications that include any other condition that is severe and for which other medical treatments have been ineffective if the symptoms reasonably can be expected to be relieved by the medical use of cannabis.

Click here for the full text of Senate Bill 386.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

West Virginia Senate Passes Resolution Making Today “West Virginia Industrial Hemp Day”

The West Virginia Senate has passed Senate Resolution 53 in a unanimous voice vote.

The resolution “designates March 27, 2017 as West Virginia Industrial Hemp Day at the Capitol”.

Below is the full text of the approved resolution:

Designating March 27, 2017 as West Virginia Industrial Hemp Day at the Capitol.

Whereas, In 2002, West Virginia adopted the Industrial Hemp Development Act to promote growth of industrial hemp farms and industry in the state; and

Whereas, The Agricultural Act of 2014 §7606, Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research, amended the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 to redefine “industrial hemp” and remove it from the current definition of “marijuana”, thereby allowing hemp to be grown, processed, transported and sold under state and federal laws; and

Whereas, A variety of products can be made from industrial hemp through its use of fiber, seed, seed oil, floral extracts and root. Industrial hemp can be found in products such as paper, fabric, auto parts, animal bedding, body care products and essential oils; and

Whereas, Industrial hemp has more protein per pound than beef, has essential amino acids and is a sustainable source of omega-3 making it a great replacement for fish oil and useful for many other health benefits; and

Whereas, Industrial hemp farmers and processors have begun evaluating the profitability of farming and processing operations within the state after successfully cultivating 9 acres of industrial hemp in 2016; and

Whereas, Licensed hemp farmers across the state are currently prepping ground to plant 30 acres of hemp in 2017; and

Whereas, Industrial hemp was grown on the organic farm at West Virginia University in 2016 for research and development; and

Whereas, Industrial hemp will provide new opportunity for innovation and entrepreneurship to revitalize agricultural industries and keep more young talent in the state; and

Whereas, The West Virginia Department of Agriculture has been very supportive of the hemp industry and is making efforts to expand the access for farmers to join the program and increase access to idle infrastructure across the state; and

Whereas, West Virginia agriculture will play a large role in the state’s future; ranking 11th in the United States in apple production, 16th in the United States turkey production and 18th in the United States chicken meat production; and could be a leader in industrial hemp farming, processing and advanced manufacturing of value added materials and products; therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate:

That the Senate hereby designates March 27, 2017 as West Virginia Industrial Hemp Day at the Capitol; and, be it

Further Resolved, That the West Virginia Senate urges the promotion of increased production of industrial hemp to promote agricultural growth within the state; and, be it

Further Resolved, That the Clerk is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to each member of West Virginia’s delegation to the United States Congress.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

West Virginia Legislation to Legalize Medical Cannabis Advances

Legislation to legalize medical cannabis has advanced in West Virginia’s Legislature.

west virginia <strong>medical</strong> <strong>cannabis</strong>Senate Bill 386 to legalize medical cannabis has been advanced out of the Senate Health and Resources Committee, and is on its second reading in the House Judiciary Committee. Passage in the Judiciary Committee will send it towards a vote in the full House of Representatives, where passage will send it to the Senate.

The proposed law – sponsored by a bipartisan group of nine senators – would legalize the possession and use of medical cannabis for those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician. A system of licensed growers and dispensaries would be authorized to distribute the medicine to qualified patients. The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Commission would be established to oversee to medical cannabis industry.

Below are the medical conditions that qualify an individual to use cannabis legally under Senate Bill 386:

(A) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that results in a patient being admitted into hospice or receiving palliative care; or

(B) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment of a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces:

(i) Cachexia, anorexia, or wasting syndrome;

(ii) Severe or chronic pain that does not find effective relief through standard pain medication;

(iii) Severe nausea;

(iv) Seizures;

(v) Severe or persistent muscle spasms; or

(vi)  Refractory generalized anxiety disorder.

(2) The commission may not limit treatment of a particular medical condition to one class of physicians.

(e) The commission may approve applications that include any other condition that is severe and for which other medical treatments have been ineffective if the symptoms reasonably can be expected to be relieved by the medical use of cannabis.

The full text of Senate Bill 386 can be found by clicking here.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

Bills to Legalize Medical Cannabis Filed in West Virginia’s House and Senate

Bills that would legalize medical cannabis have been filed in West Virginia’s House of Delegates and Senate.

Delegate Mike Pushkin (D) filed House Bill 2677, and Senator Richard Ojeda (D) filed Senate Bill 386. Both would legalize medical cannabis, albeit in different manners. HB 2688 has no cosponsors, whereas SB 386 is cosponsored by a bipartisan coalition of nine senators.

HB 2677 would legalize the possession of up to six ounces of cannabis, and the cultivation of up to 12 plants, for those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician. Qualifying conditions include:

(A) Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, addiction to opiates or amphetamines or the treatment of these conditions;

(B) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: Cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe or chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including, but not limited to, those characteristic of multiple sclerosis; or

(C) Any other medical condition or its treatment added by the department, as provided in section six of this article.

The proposal would established a system of licensed and regulated cannabis dispensaries, as a means of safe access to the medicine.

SB 386 would also legalize medical cannabis – including license dispensaries – but in a more limited way. Qualifying conditions include:

(A) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that results in a patient being admitted into hospice or receiving palliative care; or

(B) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment of a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces:

(i) Cachexia, anorexia, or wasting syndrome;

(ii) Severe or chronic pain that does not find effective relief through standard pain medication;

(iii) Severe nausea;

(iv) Seizures; or

(v) Severe or persistent muscle spasms.

HB 2677 has been assigned to the House Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse Committee. SB 386 has been assigned to the Senate Health and Human Resources.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.