A professionally grown cannabis cola lying on its side, freshly harvested.

Rory Savatgy

West Virginia Officials Begin MMJ Program Implementation

Officials in West Virginia have started developing a plan to roll out the state’s newly-enacted medical cannabis regime. The Department of Health and Human Resources has updated its website to include a frequently asked questions page and the Agriculture Department has made the nomination for its member of the advisory board, the Associated Press reports.

Joe Hatton, Agriculture Department deputy commissioner and a certified crop advisor, was tabbed by the agency for a seat on the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board. He said officials will have to look toward legal states for early advice because West Virginians don’t have experience with “the legal variety” of cannabis.

“As a lifelong farmer, I think this is a great opportunity to show what we can do in agriculture,” he said in the report. However, he did indicate he had concerns about whether the industry would be profitable for farmers and who is “going to own the crop.”

“Who’s going to own the marijuana?” he asked. “Will it be the farmers or the pharmaceutical companies or the state of West Virginia?”

The new section of the DHHR website includes information for would-be patients, caregivers, physicians, cultivators, processors, and dispensary owners interested in participating in the program.

According to Allison Adler, a DHHR spokeswoman, the Bureau for Public Health’s commissioner’s office is currently in the “preliminary stages” of developing the medical cannabis industry rules.

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