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West Virginia Finally Opens its First Medical Cannabis Dispensary |

Although it took a while, West Virginia finally has its first dispensary for medical marijuana. 

Trulieve is a marijuana company that has retail outlets in several states. On Friday, Trulieve celebrated the occasion with a ribbon-cutting event in Morgantown West Virginia. This was to complete plans that it had begun earlier this year, when it obtained dispensary permits.

“We’re thrilled to be first to market in West Virginia and to continue building the foundation for the West Virginia’s emerging medical cannabis market,” Kim Rivers, the CEO of Trulieve, said in a statement.

“Our team is especially eager to leverage our first-mover advantage to bolster local economies by creating sustainable jobs and investing in marginalized communities. We look forward to serving West Virginia patients, who have been patiently waiting for this day to arrive, with an unparalleled retail experience and the high-quality medical cannabis products they can rely on for safe and effective relief.”

The company said it “first announced plans to enter West Virginia in February 2021 after securing four dispensary permits from the state’s Office of Medical Cannabis.” Over the last three months, Trulieve said it “has strategically scaled its cultivation capacity to meet forthcoming patient demand and plans to open more dispensary storefronts across West Virginia in the coming year,” while also establishing partnerships with various community organizations throughout the Mountain State.

“The company participated in several educational and community events this October and will continue its efforts assisting future patients and partnering with healthcare practitioners around the applications of medical cannabis,” the company said in a press release.

A publicly traded company, Trulieve bills itself as “an industry leading, vertically integrated cannabis company and multi-state operator in the U.S. operating in 11 states, with leading market positions in Arizona, Florida, and Pennsylvania.”

Friday’s opening of the retail location in Morgantown is a long time coming for medical cannabis advocates in West Virginia. 

West Virginia lawmakers passed a 2017 bill to legalize medical marijuana. Republican Governor Jim Justice then signed the bill into law.

As has happened in many other states, implementation of the medical marijuana law was slow. In West Virginia’s case, the implementation of the law was “initially delayed because of concerns about who will provide banking services to the state’s medical cannabis program and to medical cannabis businesses,” according to the Marijuana Policy Project.

Legislators in the state sought to mitigate the dilemma with the passage of a 2019 bill “that allowed credit unions to bid for the state’s account and sought to protect state employees from potential prosecution,” MPP explained. Justice was the one to sign the bill into law.

This year’s progress was finally made. West Virginia opened registration to eligible patients in May for the medical marijuana program. 

Per the state’s Office of Medical Cannabis, patients suffering from the following qualifying conditions are eligible to join the program: cancer, position status for human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, epilepsy, neuropathies, Huntington’s disease, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, intractable seizures, sickle cell anemia, severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain and terminal illness that is defined as a medical prognosis of life expectancy of approximately one year or less if the illness runs its normal course.

The Office of Medical Cannabis announced that nearly 1,400 patients had applied for registration within a matter of minutes. This number has increased significantly since then. 

Trulieve stated that the office received over 4,000 applications as of November 4. 

Since years, many medical marijuana patients have been fighting to secure safe access. The first purchase legalized of cannabis was made in California by Sgt. Rob Frye according to Record Delta. After nearly 20 years of service in the U.S. Army, Sergeant. Fyre, who was injured by a roadside bomb in 2003, retired medically. “I came home to West Virginia, and I’ve been fighting for the legalization of marijuana ever since,” he shared.