Legislation to legalize medical cannabis has advanced in West Virginia’s Legislature.
Senate Bill 386 to legalize medical cannabis has been advanced out of the Senate Health and Resources Committee, and is on its second reading in the House Judiciary Committee. Passage in the Judiciary Committee will send it towards a vote in the full House of Representatives, where passage will send it to the Senate.
The proposed law – sponsored by a bipartisan group of nine senators – would legalize the possession and use of medical cannabis for those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician. A system of licensed growers and dispensaries would be authorized to distribute the medicine to qualified patients. The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Commission would be established to oversee to medical cannabis industry.
Below are the medical conditions that qualify an individual to use cannabis legally under Senate Bill 386:
(A) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that results in a patient being admitted into hospice or receiving palliative care; or
(B) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment of a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces:
(i) Cachexia, anorexia, or wasting syndrome;
(ii) Severe or chronic pain that does not find effective relief through standard pain medication;
(iii) Severe nausea;
(v) Severe or persistent muscle spasms; or
(vi) Refractory generalized anxiety disorder.
(2) The commission may not limit treatment of a particular medical condition to one class of physicians.
(e) The commission may 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.
The full text of Senate Bill 386 can be found by clicking here.