7 min read

How to Open a Dispensary in West Virginia

July 15, 2024

Opening a dispensary in West Virginia is an exciting and potentially lucrative venture for those interested in the cannabis industry. However, it is essential to note West Virginia has strict regulations governing the operation of dispensaries, and certain steps must be followed to obtain a license and open a dispensary in the state.

How to get a Dispensary License in West Virginia

  • Meet the eligibility requirements: To apply for a dispensary license in West Virginia, you must meet specific eligibility requirements. These include being a state resident, having no criminal record, and possessing a clean financial history. You must also have some capital to invest in the business.
  • Submit an application: Once you have met the eligibility requirements, you can begin the application process, which requires you to provide detailed information about your proposed dispensary, including its location, security measures, and product inventory. You will also need to submit financial statements and a business plan outlining your goals and strategies for the dispensary.
  • Pass a background check: As part of the application process, you must undergo a background check, which involves providing fingerprints and other personal information to the corresponding authority in the state. 
  • Obtain local approval: Before your application can be approved, you must obtain approval from the local government where your dispensary will be located, which means obtaining zoning approval and any other of the required permits.
  • Complete an inspection: Once your application has been approved, your dispensary will need to be inspected to ensure it meets all of the state’s regulatory specifications. This includes reviewing your security measures, product inventory, and compliance with the state’s labeling and packaging requirements.
  • Obtain your license: If your dispensary passes the inspection, you will be issued with a license to operate. It is important to note that the state has limited licenses available so the process can be very competitive.

As of now, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) and the Bureau for Public Health Office of Medical Cannabis have ceased accepting new permit applications for medical cannabis growers, processors, and dispensaries. Only applications for laboratories are currently being admitted. 

Additionally, the residency requirement previously specified in West Virginia Code §16A-6-3 will not be applied to applicants seeking a West Virginia permit to operate as a medical cannabis organization due to a Supreme Court decision

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Dispensary in West Virginia?

Another essential step in learning how to open a dispensary in West Virginia is understanding the cost, which varies depending on a number of factors, including the location, size, and scope of the business. In addition to obtaining a license, there are other expenses to consider, such as real estate, construction, equipment, and inventory.

As for the cost of obtaining a dispensary license in West Virginia, the non-refundable application fee for a medical cannabis dispensary is $2,500, the refundable permit fee is $10,000, and the renewal fee is $2,500. 

In addition to the application and license fees, there are other expenses to consider when opening a dispensary in West Virginia. For example, there may be costs associated with finding and leasing a suitable location for the dispensary and costs for renovating or building out the space to meet state regulations. The cost of equipment, such as security systems and point-of-sale systems, can also add up quickly.

The inventory represents one of the biggest expenses for a dispensary in West Virginia, and the cost of cannabis products can vary depending on a number of factors, including the strain, potency, and quality of the product. Dispensaries are required to purchase their inventory from licensed growers and processors. 

Overall, the cost of opening a dispensary in West Virginia can range from several hundred thousand dollars to several million dollars, depending on the size and scope of the business. Careful planning and budgeting for all expenses is essential when opening a dispensary. 

How to Get Funding to Open a Dispensary in West Virginia

Obtaining funding to open a dispensary in West Virginia can be challenging, as traditional 

lenders like banks may be hesitant to invest in the cannabis industry due to the fact that cannabis remains illegal on a federal level. However, several options are available for entrepreneurs looking to secure funding for a dispensary.

One is to seek out private investors. These may include angel investors, venture capitalists, or other high-net-worth individuals interested in investing in the cannabis industry. It is important to have a strong business plan and a solid understanding of the regulatory landscape in West Virginia to attract potential investors.

Another avenue to consider is crowdfunding. Platforms such as Fundanna and TruCrowd allow entrepreneurs to raise funds for their cannabis businesses by soliciting small investments from a large number of individuals. It is important to note that crowdfunding is subject to strict regulations, and entrepreneurs must comply with state and federal securities laws when seeking such funding.

In addition to private investment and crowdfunding, entrepreneurs may also consider obtaining a loan from a specialized cannabis lender. These backers are familiar with the unique challenges facing cannabis businesses and may be more willing to extend credit than traditional lenders. However, it is important to research and compare with care the terms and fees associated with these loans before accepting an offer.

Finally, entrepreneurs may consider using their savings or applying for grants or other forms of non-dilutive funding. Various grants and programs are available to small businesses and entrepreneurs, and some of these may apply to the cannabis industry.

With careful research, considering all available options, having a solid business plan, and understanding the regulatory landscape, entrepreneurs can increase their chances of securing the funding they need to open a dispensary in West Virginia and operate it successfully. 

How to Stay Compliant in West Virginia

Staying compliant with West Virginia’s regulations for medical cannabis dispensaries is essential for any business operating in the industry. Here are a few strategies for staying compliant in the state. Medical cannabis may only be dispensed in the following forms: pill, oil, topical forms (including gels, creams, or ointments), a form medically appropriate for administration by vaporization or nebulization, tincture, liquid, or dermal patch. The rules exclude dry leaf or plant form, which may be allowed only if specified by further rules from the bureau. 

Medical cannabis can only be dispensed to patients or caregivers possessing a valid identification card issued by the bureau. Each patient can designate up to two caregivers at any one time, and each caregiver can assist up to five patients.                                                                                                                              

Government requirements demand 100 percent reporting accuracy and a thorough inventory audit as part of the setup process for Metrc. Most West Virginia dispensaries choose to work with IndicaOnline due to its easy-to-use technology and automated solutions. Metrc software must be integrated with your POS systems, and all you need to do is adopt POS software explicitly tailored to your company. With 11 years of experience in the cannabis industry, IndicaOnline POS software provides everything required for a successful business.

By using IndicaOnline, you will avoid the headaches caused by dealing with restrictions and regulations; we receive all the new requirements and updates directly from Metrc and adapt your operations accordingly. Our Metrc integration is an excellent way for cannabis companies to navigate the industry confidently, remain compliant, and avoid missteps.


In conclusion, the cannabis industry in West Virginia offers an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to enter this rapidly growing market. However, it is important to understand the state’s unique challenges and regulatory requirements if a successful and compliant dispensary is your goal.

By staying informed, utilizing the latest technology, and adhering to regulations, dispensaries can position themselves for success while promoting the health and well-being of patients in the state and contributing to the local economy. As a company, we guarantee that IndicaOnline will equip you with all the necessary tools for launching and running a successful dispensary in West Virginia.