"When I needed my medical marijuana certification, I turned to the Sanctuary. They made the entire process so easy and I was able to submit my registration to the DOH with no problem and, most importantly, no judgment. Thank you!"
"Dr. Raymond was kind and well informed and I felt like he was really advocating for me. I will definitely recommend him and Sanctuary Wellness to others.* "
Patients who want a medical marijuana card must be permanent residents of West Virginia and have a valid state ID. Patients under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian over the age of 21 registered as their caregiver, but there are no age restrictions when it comes to qualifying for an MMJ card.
A physician's medical documentation supporting your diagnosis of one of the qualifying serious medical conditions is required. Medical records from your medical history, summaries of previous office visits, or a letter of diagnosis from your doctor are examples of these documents.
If you don't have any supporting medical documentation but have one of the qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card, see a doctor who can diagnose you before applying for one.
You're ready for a cannabis-licensed doctor to evaluate you for qualifying medical conditions once you have your medical documents. Only a few doctors are allowed to evaluate potential medical marijuana patients, and they must first register with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. Cannabis-licensed doctors can be found online, and many of them provide telehealth visits.
Your medical records and medical history will be reviewed by your cannabis-licensed doctor. If you're approved, they'll send you the additional paperwork you'll need to apply for your medical marijuana card. It will be called a "Physician's Certification for Qualified Patient" form.
Patients who qualify for a medical cannabis card must have a "serious medical condition," according to the Medical Cannabis Act.
The following are state-approved conditions that qualify patients:
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) requires both medical cannabis patients and physicians who can issue them to register with them.
To participate in the Medical Cannabis Program, doctors must first apply. A physician must meet the following criteria to be eligible:
Patients, like physicians, must apply for a medical marijuana card through the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHR). A patient must submit the following documents in order to apply:
Within 30-60 days of receiving your application, the DHHR will review it. If your application is approved or denied, or if additional information or corrections are required, they will notify you via email.
On April 19, 2017, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed the Medical Cannabis Act, making cannabis legal for "serious medical conditions." In December 2019, the state's health department began accepting applications from qualified patients.
The Medical Cannabis Program is overseen by the Bureau of Health, which keeps track of registered patients and physicians. This governing body is in charge of processing new patient applications, issuing ID cards to patients whose applications are approved, developing and updating program rules, and inspecting and issuing business licenses to licensed dispensaries.
Patients must buy medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries. They are not allowed to grow or cultivate their own cannabis.
Patients who are under the influence of medically approved marijuana are prohibited from driving or operating heavy machinery. Three nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood is the legal limit.
Additionally, employers may still require employees to pass drug tests. Employers may take disciplinary action, up to and including termination, based on their workplace's drug policy, which is not prohibited by the Medical Cannabis Act.
Public consumption is illegal in West Virginia. You must consume your medical marijuana in a private place, like your residence or another person's home, with their permission. In addition, never use cannabis in national parks or federal lands due to the ongoing national prohibition.
While employers cannot discriminate against applicants based on their patient status, they are not required to permit employees to use cannabis on their premises.
Under the 2017 legislation, medical marijuana patients cannot operate a vehicle with trace amounts of THC, defined as 3 ng/ml of THC or more, in their blood. Plan rides or alternative transportation when you use your medical marijuana. It can take eight hours or more to metabolize THC depending on your biochemistry, the dose, and the consumption method.
First offenses are misdemeanors punished with up to six months imprisonment, a maximum $5,000 fine, and a license revocation between 90 days and six months. Minimum penalties increase with each subsequent offense.
As of February 2023, West Virginia has 40 operational dispensaries selling products from six processors. Locations include:
The Office of Medical Cannabis has a complete list of dispensaries.
A $50 fee is charged for submitting and processing an application with DHHR. This fee must be paid by check or money order to the state and mailed. Low-income patients can also get a financial hardship waiver from the state. When submitting an online application, individuals whose household income is less than 200% of the federal poverty level are eligible for this waiver.
Your cannabis-licensed doctor will almost certainly charge an office visit fee in addition to the state application fee. This can be discussed with your individual medical provider’s office. Similarly, the cost of the THC product will be determined by your prescription.
Unfortunately, cannabis remains illegal in the United States. Furthermore, the FDA has not approved it for the treatment of any medical conditions. As a result, medical insurance will not cover the cost of cannabis products or visits to a doctor to get them prescribed.
Patients should, however, call their insurance company to double-check their policy and see if any additional costs are covered.
Bring your state-issued photo ID as well as any supporting medical documentation that identifies your qualifying serious medical condition. You can bring other qualifying materials such as pill bottles, your medical history, or office visit notes that support your diagnosis if you don't have documents from your doctor.
A caregiver is someone who can obtain medical marijuana on behalf of a patient. Patients may appoint a caregiver only if they have registered with the DHHR and their applications have been approved. After receiving their medical marijuana card, patients can designate a caregiver who is over the age of 21. In the case of minors under the age of 18, the caregiver must be the patient's parent or legal guardian.
Caregivers must apply for an identification card online through the DHHR. These cards allow caregivers to obtain medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries. To be approved by the DHHR, caregivers must pass a criminal background check.
In West Virginia, medical marijuana must be obtained from a licensed marijuana dispensary. There were no medical marijuana dispensaries in the state until November 2021. Trulieve currently has two locations set to open in November, with more dispensaries set to open by the end of the year across the state.
Trulieve provides patients with valid medical marijuana cards with both pick-up and delivery options.
Reciprocity is a program that allows a state to accept medical marijuana cards from other states. West Virginia does not currently practice reciprocity. This means that a patient cannot buy medical marijuana in West Virginia using a medical marijuana card from another state.
Patients with a valid West Virginia medical marijuana card may be able to purchase medical cannabis in other states that offer reciprocity, though. However, purchasing medical cannabis products outside of West Virginia and then transporting them across state lines is still illegal.