West Virginia

Is weed legal in West Virginia?

No, adult-use cannabis is not legal in the state of West Virginia. Medical marijuana is legal for registered patients, but the state is still in the process of setting up its medical marijuana program.

Possession of up to 15 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by a minimum of 90 days and maximum of six months incarceration and a maximum fine of $1,000 for the first offense. Probation and drug testing may be ordered instead of incarceration or fines for first-time offenders.

Legislative history

West Virginia established a medical marijuana program when Gov. Jim Justice signed SB 386, known as the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, into law in April 2017. The bill established the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Commission, set forth rules and timelines for the establishment of a statewide medical marijuana system, and established July 1, 2019, as the date to begin certifying patients for medical cannabis use. However, a lack of program funding and other financial hurdles postponed the program.

New legislation signed in 2019 amended some of the uncertainties and addressed financial difficulties in establishing a regulated medical marijuana system. SB 1037 clarified terminology around physicians providing written certifications to patients with qualifying conditions; redefined requirements for dispensary, processor, and grower permits; defined tax schedules; and provided for protections for physicians and patients.

In May 2019, HB 2538 allowed banking institutions to bid to become third-party vendors to handle all banking services related to the medical marijuana program. The state selected a banking vendor in August 2019 and announced its first growers in October 2020.

West Virginia cannabis decriminalization efforts were rejected by voters in local elections in 2019.

Regulatory authority

The West Virginia Bureau of Public Health is responsible for developing regulatory processes, inspecting businesses, processing applications, and issuing patient ID cards.

Purchasing cannabis

Patients can purchase only from dispensaries licensed by the Bureau of Health. None are open yet.

Patients and caregivers may purchase and possess no more than a 30-day supply at any given time, per the requirements specified on a physician’s certification. Allowed forms include those medically appropriate for administration by vaporization or nebulization as well as:

  • Dermal patches
  • Dry leaf or plant
  • Liquids
  • Oils
  • Pills
  • Topical
  • Tinctures

Currently, the state hasn’t allowed medical cannabis delivery services. Local governments may determine to ban or limit medical cannabis businesses within a specific jurisdiction.

Consuming cannabis

Cannabis consumption is prohibited in any public place, inside a motor vehicle, or in any rented property that specifically prohibits cannabis consumption onsite. It is illegal to perform any task under the influence of cannabis in which doing so would constitute negligence, such as the operation of any motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft.

Edibles are not permissible for sale, but patients can make their own edibles at home.

Possessing cannabis

Patients and caregivers may possess no more than a 30-day supply of medical cannabis as determined by the certifying physician unless they have a written certification from their physician allowing more.

The law protects patients, growers, caregivers, physicians, processors, and dispensaries from prosecution as long as they are following program rules. Employers may not discriminate against an individual for their status as a registered patient, though they are not required to permit onsite use.

Medical Marijuana Registry

The West Virginia Bureau of Health regulates the state’s medical marijuana program.

Qualifying conditions

Patients with one of the following medical conditions qualify for medical marijuana:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Intractable seizures
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuropathies
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Terminal illness

Patient qualifications

The Bureau of Health is currently developing the process through which patients can obtain a medical cannabis ID card. Applications will be available online. Patients will be charged a fee for an identification card, though the fee can be waived in cases of financial hardship.


If a patient is under 18 or unable to obtain cannabis on their own, they can designate a caregiver. A caregiver must be at least 21 years old and may serve up to five patients. Caregivers must undergo criminal background checks and submit an application to the Bureau of Health for registry and an identification card.

Regulations and application procedures to become a caregiver are not yet drafted. There will be an application fee, which may be waived if the applicant demonstrates financial hardship.


Pending regulations, the Bureau of Health may enter into agreements with other states to allow terminally ill cancer patients to buy cannabis in another state with an existing, comparable medical marijuana system in place.


Growers and processors must use a state-approved lab to test a sample from each batch of cannabis and cannabis products for the following:

  • Appearance
  • Cannabinoids and potency
  • Fineness
  • Foreign matter
  • Heavy metals
  • Microbes
  • Moisture content
  • Odor
  • Pesticide residue

Frequently Asked Questions

While medical marijuana is legal in West Virginia, the list of approved forms does not include edibles. All forms of marijuana are illegal for adult or recreational use.
In terms of marijuana, possession of more than 15 grams is a felony punishable by one to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Possession of up to 15 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by a minimum of 90 days and maximum of six months incarceration and a maximum fine of $1,000 for the first offense. Probation and drug testing may be ordered instead of incarceration or fines for first-time offenders.
Information on the state’s medical cannabis program, including access to application forms for dispensaries, can be found on the program’s website.

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