West Virginia Finally Opens its First Medical Cannabis Dispensary
West Virginia has finally opened the doors on its first medical cannabis dispensary, four years after medical cannabis was made legal.
It has taken a little more than four years, but West Virginia has finally opened its first medical marijuana dispensary.
Trulieve, a cannabis company with retail locations in multiple states, has officially opened shop. It marked the occasion by holding a ribbon cutting event in Morgantown, West Virginia on Friday, completing plans it first initiated earlier this year when it received dispensary permits from the state.
“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.
Lawmakers in West Virginia passed a bill legalizing medical marijuana in 2017, and the bill was signed into law by Republican Governor Jim Justice.
But as has been the case in other states that have legalized the treatment, the rollout of the new medical cannabis law has been 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 signed the legislation into law.
Earlier this year finally brought meaningful progress. In May, West Virginia finally opened up registration for eligible patients to join 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.
Shortly after opening up registration in May, the Office of Medical Cannabis said that it had received nearly 1,400 applications from would-be patients. That number has grown considerably since then.
Trulieve said that, as of November 4, the office had received more than 4,000 applications.
Many medical cannabis patients in the state have been fighting for safe access for years. On Friday morning, the first legal purchase of medical cannabis in the state was made by a combat veteran Sgt. Rob Frye, according to The Record Delta. After working in the U.S. Army for nearly two decades, Sgt. Fyre was medically retired and received a Purple Heart, due to being hit by a roadside bomb in 2003. “I came home to West Virginia, and I’ve been fighting for the legalization of marijuana ever since,” he shared.
Where Can I Buy Cannabis Seeds?
If you’ve ever been interested in growing cannabis at home, then you’ve probably wondered how you would go about buying seeds. Sure, you could wait for the occasional stray to come through your own bud and hope for the best when you plant it, but there’s a better way. There are two reliable ways you can go about buying seeds, depending on where you live.
Download Free Beginner’s Guide to Growing Cannabis
You could visit your local dispensary, if you have access to legal marijuana in your state you likely have access to seeds as well. Headshops are also a common way to buy seeds in-person. (Please note however that not all states that have legalized marijuana also have legalized home cultivation.)
On the other hand, you can take a digital approach to making a purchase like we are with most things these days and you can buy them online.
Is it Legal to Buy Cannabis Seeds Online?
The answer to this is a bit of a grey area and it depends on a lot of factors including where you live and where the seeds are coming from. If home growing is legal in your state, then you shouldn’t be concerned about purchasing seeds online.
However, you should keep in mind that cannabis is still considered a Schedule I Controlled Substance according to the federal government, and technically shipping even seeds across state lines is illegal.
The most important thing you can do before growing your own cannabis or buying weed seeds online is to learn your state’s limitations on growing.
Homegrown Cannabis Co.
A California based seed company that offers discreet deliveries, guaranteed, Homegrown Cannabis Co. has some big names behind their seeds. With cultivators like Kyle Kushman, Steve D’Angelo, and Nikki & Swami Chaitanya, and partnerships with the likes of Veterans Cannabis Coalition and yours truly, Leafwell, the company is so confident in their seeds that they offer a germination guarantee. Follow their directions and if your seeds don’t germinate then they will replace your seeds ASAP.
The Attitude Seedbank prides themselves on being the world’s largest cannabis seedbank and they ship worldwide. They carry a wide variety of seeds from hundreds of different brands. Attitude, like most online seedbanks, offers discreet shipping, with the option to require signature for “super discreet” shipping. They also offer a price match policy – but price match purchases must be made over the phone and you need to be able to provide a link to the website where the same seeds are sold at a lower price to get the match.
DC Seed Exchange
The DC Seed Exchange came about with Initiative 71, which took effect in the District of Columbia in 2015 allowing the legal possession, transfer and cultivation of personal amounts of cannabis. They only offer seeds from breeders that have had time to perfect their seeds, offer “souvenir seeds” and donate seeds to veterans and disabled persons and caregivers who are in need.
I Love Growing Marijuana
I Love Growing Marijuana is a unique seedbank in the fact that it was founded by a grower who also offers grow guides, strain reviews and more to help you through the growing process. Founder Robert Bergman started growing cannabis in the 90s in Amsterdam and eventually started his blog to help share his knowledge and his love for growing cannabis. Now you can find deals on seeds along with all your growing tips and tricks the blog has to offer.
Seedsman has been selling cannabis seeds online since 2003. Seedsman is not just a seedbank, however – they also develop their own strains and varieties of cannabis as well. Seedsman has quite a large, worldwide reach, and has even supported the campaign for “Cancards” (medical cannabis cards) in the UK.
Cannabis seed germinating in soil. Author: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Source: Flickr.
Get Your Medical Card to Grow Marijuana Legally
Whether you can grow cannabis at home and how many plants you can grow will greatly depend on where you live. If you’re in the United States, then most states with recreational cannabis laws allow for limited home growing (usually 4-12 plants per household, with some states allowing more if the qualifying physician deems it OK, or if the patient applies for a license to grow more). On the other hand, in states where medical marijuana is legal you would need to get your medical card to grow at home.
Download Free Beginner’s Guide to Growing Cannabis
In some states with both medical and recreational laws on the books, medical patients and caregivers are usually allowed to grow more plants than recreational users, so don’t neglect to get your card just because cannabis is legal for adult use in your state.
In many states, Leafwell can help you get your medical marijuana certification and any grower’s certificates required, so you can start growing your own medicine. We walk you through the application process and connect you to a certified physician in your state. If you think you or a loved one could benefit from medical marijuana don’t wait, contact Leafwell today and get relief sooner rather than later.
Article written by
Julia Granowicz Content Writer
Julia Granowicz-Johnson is a freelance writer from Florida with a passion for the cannabis industry. Since 2015 she’s covered legalization news and educated medical marijuana patients, caregivers and their families through her work.
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