Monday, June 29, West Virginia officially announced the plan to reopen their application process for medical cannabis testing labs so that more labs can get registered and their medical cannabis testing program can get off the ground.
“The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health today announced its Office of Medical Cannabis will resume accepting permit applications for medical cannabis laboratories,” their press release explains about the new change and what to expect. “Laboratory permits are not limited in number and the application process will remain open indefinitely.”
As of now, the state will be accepting applications for an undefined amount of time, and there is no cap on the amount of licenses they will offer. It is not clear if there will eventually be a cap, but the problem currently is not too many applicants, but rather a lack thereof.
“This is a key step in the process to make medical cannabis available to West Virginians with serious medical conditions,” said Jason Frame, Director of the Office of Medical Cannabis, when questioned about the new program. “We and many others continue to work toward a goal of providing eligible West Virginia residents the ability to procure quality-tested medical cannabis.”
Originally, the application process was open for two months, ending February 18 of this year. West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports that during that time, only one business applied for a license, so the process had to be reopened.
Round Two of Applications
This process looks similar to what was released during the first round of applications back in February: the application will be reviewed and will include a background check for all interested parties. A scoring team will then consider the applications and look at recommendations and best practices for issuing permits to the labs that applied.
Labs are necessary in the state so that cannabis can be tested for quality control and potency. Although West Virginia passed the Medical Cannabis Act in April of 2017, they fell short of their goal to make cannabis available to patients within two years. They are hoping to have their program fully up and running by spring of 2021.
Starting this past May 28, physicians are now able to register to treat patients and prescribe medical cannabis. There’s no data yet on who signed up for this, but any doctors who do have to complete a program called the West Virginia Medical cannabis Program and pay a $189 fee.
Patients who want access to medical cannabis will need to apply for medical cannabis cards, like in many other legal states, and they will have to have a qualified medical cannabis-treatable condition as approved by the Medical Cannabis Act.
For more information on applying to be a testing lab, visit medcanwv.org and apply online.