The West Virginia Capitol Building in Huntington, West Virginia.

Drew Tarvin

A bipartisan coalition of West Virginia lawmakers has introduced SB386: The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, which would develop a comprehensive medical cannabis program in the state, the Logan Banner reports. The measure would set forth “policies, procedures, guidelines and regulations to implement programs to make medical cannabis available to qualifying patients in a safe and effective manner,” according to the bill text.

The proposal is sponsored by Democratic state Senators Richard Ojeda, Douglas Facemire, Robert Beach, Ronald Miller, Mike Romano, Corey Palumbo, Mike Woelfel, and Ron Stollings, along with Republican state Senators Patricia Rucker, Chandler Swope, and Greg Boso.

The legislation would see the creation of a 16-member West Virginia Medical Cannabis Commissions that would oversee the program, comprised of officials from the state Department of Health and Human Resources, the Department of Agriculture, the Treasurer’s office, and 13 non-government members appointed by the governor. Commissionerships would not be paid.

Under the law, patients suffering from wasting syndrome, chronic pain, seizures, severe muscle spasms, severe nausea, or those in hospice would have access to medical cannabis in the state. The commission would have the power to approve applications “that include any other condition that is severe and for which other medical treatments have been ineffective if the symptoms reasonably can be expected to be relieved by the medical use of cannabis.”

If approved, the commission would be expected to begin issuing all licenses for patients and operators by June 1, 2019. The bill has been sent to the Health and Human Resources Committee, and if approved, will be moved to the Judiciary Committee.

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