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Advocate rips slow roll-out of medical marijuana in W.Va.

By Erin Beck, The Register-Herald

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As West Virginia state officials have worked over the past two and a half years to implement a medical marijuana program in the state, Rusty Williams has watched his friends move away.

Although the law passed in 2017 and was scheduled to be in place two months ago, state officials say implementation is still years out. Just Thursday, the state treasurer’s office announced it had finally found a financial institution – the Charleston-based Element Federal Credit Union — to handle the revenue.

The law also forbade patients to grow their own plants and allows only companies to sell the product. And the state Department of Health and Human Resources still has to set up a system for receiving and accepting applications to do so, as well as train doctors to recommend cannabis.

“I know a lot of people that have moved and as much as I hate to do it, when people come to me now and they ask me, ‘Hey, I was just diagnosed with cancer and I don’t know what to do; what is your advice?’ I tell them, if they have the means, to move,” Williams said. “To pack their stuff and move to a state where they won’t be considered a criminal for using a flower.” …

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