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WV DHHR: Medical cannabis making strides

To date, nine dispensaries, two processors, and six growers are operational across West Virginia.
FILE - Marijuana plants are pictured at a growing facility in Oklahoma City, Feb. 26, 2020....
FILE - Marijuana plants are pictured at a growing facility in Oklahoma City, Feb. 26, 2020. Republicans in the Oklahoma House are unveiling a package of new restrictions on the medical marijuana industry. The 12-point plan announced Monday, March 7, 2022, is designed to crack down on the number of illegal growers who are selling cannabis on the black market. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)(Sue Ogrocki | AP)
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 3:57 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - The Medical Cannabis Act has enabled thousands of state residents with qualifying medical conditions to access a new option for treatment of severe or chronic conditions, while at the same time encouraging economic development statewide.

The Act was passed by the WV Legislature and signed into law by Governor Justice in 2017.

To date, nine dispensaries, two processors, and six growers are operational across West Virginia.

“The medical cannabis industry has created 332 direct jobs in West Virginia, with an additional job growth of 1,884 positions in the fields of commercial construction, security services, and transportation,” said Jason Frame, Director of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Office of Medical Cannabis. “As the medical cannabis industry continues to expand, opportunities for employment and patient care in West Virginia will also grow. Additionally, all products dispensed have been cultivated within West Virginia’s borders at medical cannabis growth and processing facilities.”

The Office of Medical Cannabis has approved more than 7,000 applications for medical cannabis cards, allowing this alternative treatment option to meet patient needs and preferences for care.

Officials say success stories from chronically ill patients, an 81% increase in the number of patient cards issued since January, and a 350% increase in the number of operational dispensaries in the same time period demonstrate the positive impact this legislation and the Office of Medical Cannabis have made in West Virginia and the potential for continued development of the industry and quality of care.

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