CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Today was the final day to apply with the state to be a medical cannabis grower, processor, dispensary, or laboratory.
“From what I have heard there have been a lot of applications so far,” says Delegate Mike Pushkin (D- Kanawha).
The legislature and Governor approved legal medical cannabis in West Virginia three years ago, yet there is still none available. That is why this legislative session a number of bills are supposed to fix that.
“I think it’s very important we let patients grow themselves because this process is taking way too long and we owe it to them to help relieve their suffering,” says Pushkin.
Advocates also say that allowing patients to grow their own allows better patient access.
“The prices are pretty high in dispensaries and folks on Medicare and Medicaid are basically priced right out of their medicine. To me, any fix for the medical cannabis act that doesn’t include patient homegrown is not a fix,” says Rusty Williams, a West Virginia medical cannabis patient advocate.
While advocates say the time it’s taking to get medical up and running is taking too long, those opposed say it’s just not the right time at all.
“I think what people have ignored here at the legislature is that for every dollar that comes into the state for marijuana and in the state of Colorado, for example, a study they did there it costs the state four-dollars-and-fifty-cents in other issues that it brings up,” says Delegate Jim Butler (R Mason).
The bills now battle a time crunch with 18 days left in the legislative session.