West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has signed legislation allowing medical cannabis companies to access banking services in the state.
According to the bill text, it authorizes the treasurer to select financial institutions to provide services to the industry via a competitive bidding process. The banks would be able to handle medical cannabis fees and taxes paid to the state.
“I always have, and I always will fully support medical cannabis for our people who are in so much pain that their physicians deem it absolutely necessary. I will say, adamantly, I am 100 percent against recreational marijuana. But we have a lot of people and families out there who are truly hurting and if medical cannabis can help, we need to do everything we can to make life better for those West Virginians.” – Gov. Justice in a press release
The governor indicated the bill ensures the state remains in compliance with federal law.
The legislation also creates the Medical Cannabis Program Fund in order to collect the fees, penalties and taxes; and the Treasurer’s Medical Cannabis Fund that allows the treasurer to charge fees for providing banking services to cannabis industry operators. Those fees would be used for expenses incurred by the department, industry oversight, and compliance.
Medical cannabis growers and processors in West Virginia must pay a non-refundable $5,000 application fee and a $50,000 permit fee, which is refundable if a permit is not granted. Dispensaries must pay a $25,000 application and $10,000 permit fee.
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