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West Virginia Marijuana Laws

February 20, 2023

West Virginia has recently joined the growing number of states in the United States that have legalized cannabis for medical use. The state’s medical cannabis program became operational in 2021, while the recreational use of cannabis by adults is set to become legal in July 2023. Legalizing cannabis in West Virginia has been a contentious issue, with proponents arguing that it will provide numerous economic and health benefits. At the same time, opponents are concerned about the potential negative impacts on public safety and health.

Under the West Virginia marijuana laws, patients with certain qualifying medical conditions are allowed to use medical cannabis as a form of treatment. The program is regulated by the West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis, responsible for licensing and regulating cannabis growers, processors, and dispensaries in the state. Under the law, the patient registry was established, which enables patients to obtain a medical cannabis card that allows them to purchase and use cannabis for medical purposes. With the legalization of cannabis for recreational use in 2023, West Virginia is poised to become one of the latest states to embrace the growing trend of legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational use.

Medical Marijuana Program in West Virginia

To obtain a medical marijuana card in West Virginia, patients must first have a qualifying medical condition, such as chronic pain or a terminal illness, and then register with the Office of Medical Cannabis. Once registered, patients can work with a certified physician to obtain a recommendation for medical cannabis and apply for a medical marijuana card.

Qualifying Conditions

There are several qualifying medical conditions in West Virginia for which a patient may be eligible to obtain a medical marijuana card. These qualifying conditions are as follows:

  • Chronic or intractable pain;
  • Neuropathic pain;
  • Painful peripheral neuropathy;
  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms;
  • Severe nausea or vomiting as a result of chemotherapy or other treatment for a chronic or debilitating medical condition;
  • Anorexia or weight loss as a result of a chronic or debilitating medical condition;
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
  • Seizures, including those characteristics of epilepsy;
  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristics of multiple sclerosis;
  • Terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less.

Who Can Purchase Marijuana in West Virginia?

In West Virginia, only individuals with a valid medical marijuana card issued by the West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis may legally purchase and possess marijuana for medical purposes. The amount of marijuana that a registered patient may buy and possess is limited by law.

The West Virginia marijuana laws allow registered patients to purchase up to a 30-day supply of medical marijuana, defined as no more than four ounces of dried usable medical marijuana or the equivalent amount in other forms, such as oils, tinctures, and concentrates.

It is important to note that registered patients may only purchase medical marijuana from a licensed dispensary in West Virginia. It is illegal to transport medical marijuana across state lines or to share or sell medical marijuana to anyone who is not a registered medical marijuana patient in West Virginia.

The West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis monitors and regulates the medical cannabis program to ensure compliance with the state’s laws and regulations. Any violation of the state’s medical marijuana laws can result in criminal charges and the revocation of a patient’s medical marijuana card.

Where Can I Use Marijuana in West Virginia? 

Under the West Virginia marijuana laws, it is illegal to use medical marijuana in public places, on school grounds, or any place where smoking is prohibited. Registered medical marijuana patients are only allowed to use medical marijuana in private residences.

It is important to note that medical marijuana use is still illegal under federal law, and federal law enforcement agencies may choose to enforce federal drug laws in West Virginia.

Growing Marijuana in West Virginia

Under the West Virginia marijuana laws, it is illegal to grow marijuana for any purpose, including medical use. The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act only allows registered patients to purchase medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries and does not provide for the personal cultivation of marijuana.

Cultivating marijuana without a valid license is considered a criminal offense in West Virginia, regardless of the intended use. Growing cannabis can result in various criminal charges, depending on the amount of marijuana involved and other circumstances. Penalties can range from misdemeanor charges for small amounts to felony charges for larger amounts.

The West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis oversees the state’s medical cannabis program and is responsible for regulating the licensed dispensaries that sell medical marijuana to registered patients. The state has not authorized any other type of cultivation or distribution of marijuana, and it is illegal and subject to criminal prosecution.

Driving Under the Influence in West Virginia 

Under the West Virginia marijuana laws, it is illegal to operate a vehicle or heavy machinery while under the influence of marijuana, including medical marijuana. Driving under the influence of cannabis (DUI) is a criminal offense in West Virginia. It can result in serious legal consequences, including fines, jail time, and a suspension of the driver’s license. The severity of the penalties depends on various factors, such as the amount of marijuana consumed, the driver’s prior DUI convictions, and whether the driver caused any accidents or injuries while driving under the influence. It is also illegal to transport medical marijuana across state lines. 

A person can be charged with DUI if they have a blood concentration of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) of 5 nanograms or more per milliliter of blood or if they are under the influence of marijuana to the extent that they are incapable of safely operating a vehicle. 

Advertising and Labeling Laws in West Virginia 

The advertising and labeling of medical marijuana products under the West Virginia marijuana laws are subject to strict regulations under the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act. The state has implemented detailed rules governing the advertising and packaging of medical marijuana products to ensure that patients are provided with accurate information about the products they are using and to prevent the misuse or diversion of medical marijuana.

Under West Virginia law, all medical marijuana products sold in the state must be labeled with the following information:

  • The name and address of the licensed processor who produced the medical marijuana product.
  • The date the product was tested, the name of the lab that conducted the testing, and the test results.
  • The date of packaging and expiration, as well as any storage instructions.
  • The dosage and concentration of the product.
  • The registered patient’s name and registry identification number for whom the product is intended.

In addition, medical marijuana products cannot be promoted or advertised to the general public in West Virginia. Advertising is limited to informational materials that are directed at registered patients and caregivers. These materials must be factual, accurate, and not misleading. Advertising may not contain any language or imagery that implies that the use of medical marijuana is safe or without risk.

Based on the marijuana laws, Licensed dispensaries are also prohibited from mass advertising, including billboards, radio or television advertisements, or other forms of mass media. Dispensaries may only advertise their products through direct mailings, email marketing, or other targeted forms of advertising that are directed specifically at registered patients and caregivers.

The West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis oversees the state’s medical cannabis program. It is responsible for enforcing the state’s laws and regulations governing the advertising and labeling of medical marijuana products.

Tax Regulations in West Virginia

Under the West Virginia marijuana laws, a tax of 10% is imposed on the sale of medical marijuana products. This tax is in addition to the state sales tax and any other local taxes that may apply.

The tax revenue from medical marijuana sales is allocated to several areas, including the state’s medical cannabis program, drug treatment and prevention programs, and local governments. The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Program is responsible for administering the state’s medical marijuana program and for ensuring that the program operates effectively and efficiently. The drug treatment and prevention programs are designed to address substance abuse and addiction in the state. The local government funding is intended to support local law enforcement and other programs related to public safety.

Licensed processors and dispensaries are responsible for collecting and remitting the medical marijuana tax to the West Virginia State Tax Department on a quarterly basis. Failure to comply with the state’s tax regulations can result in various penalties, including fines and legal action.

It is worth noting that medical marijuana products are not covered by insurance, and patients must pay for their medical marijuana out of pocket. The tax on medical marijuana products can increase the cost for patients and discourage some patients from using medical marijuana as a treatment option. However, the tax revenue generated by medical marijuana sales can help support important public programs and services in West Virginia.


In conclusion, West Virginia has enacted medical marijuana laws that permit patients with certain qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana as a treatment option. The program is tightly regulated to ensure that medical marijuana is used safely and effectively. While there are some restrictions on the use of medical marijuana in West Virginia, patients who meet the eligibility criteria can access medical marijuana products that are safe, effective, and lab-tested. 

The state’s tax on medical marijuana sales supports important public programs, including the medical cannabis program, drug treatment and prevention, and local governments. 

And last but not least, it should be noted that marijuana laws in West Virginia, as in many other states, are subject to frequent change. Therefore, we must remind you that the aforementioned information and guidelines are not intended to be taken as legal advice.