By ERIN BECK
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s medical marijuana board plans to recommend to state lawmakers that patients who have met certain requirements be able to buy smokable forms of marijuana.
The board, which met Tuesday afternoon at the University of Charleston, also plans to recommend state lawmakers increase or remove a cap on the number of growers, processors and dispensaries in the state, and allow one company to serve two or three of those roles — meaning a grower could also be a processor, for example.
The board did not approve recommending any conditions, such as anxiety, be added to the list of medical conditions that patients must be diagnosed with before doctors can recommend medical marijuana.
West Virginia lawmakers passed a bill during the 2017 legislative session, permitting doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients and establishing a regulatory system in the state. The law also set up a Medical Cannabis Advisory Board and directs the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health to oversee implementation of the law and the state’s medical marijuana system.
Some advocates for marijuana legalization criticized the law — which allows patients to begin receiving patient ID cards in July of 2019 — because it prohibits smoking marijuana and growing your own marijuana, limits use of the drug to people with certain serious medical conditions, and sets hefty fees for companies who want to become involved. They have also criticized the law because it limits the number of growers to 10, processors to 10, and dispensaries to 30.
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