How to Start a Marijuana Delivery Service in West Virginia

Legislation to allow medical cannabis in the state of West Virginia happened quite recently. In April of 2017, a bill was passed to allow registered medical marijuana patients to access some form of cannabis for treatment and to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to apply to open in the state. Marijuana in its plant form is explicitly banned, however.

Because legalization was so recent, potential West Virginia marijuana businesses have plenty of time to plan. Retailers, cultivators, and processors will begin to be awarded licenses starting in 2019. 50 licenses in total will be given out, so be sure to submit your application early just to be sure. Dispensaries will be allowed to deliver their products, so to deliver to anyone, you will have to first open a dispensary.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important aspects you will need to know to legally open a medical marijuana business in West Virginia.

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    West Virginia’s current medical marijuana program (not yet fully operational) was signed into law in April of 2017. There is no recreational marijuana program, and even the medical marijuana program has a fair amount of restrictions.

    The following forms of marijuana are acceptable as medical marijuana in the state of West Virginia:

    • Oils
    • Pills
    • Gels
    • Creams
    • Tinctures
    • Ointments
    • Liquid
    • Non-whole plant form for vaporization
    When was cannabis made legal in West Virginia
    When was cannabis made legal in West Virginia – Image powered by

    Out of the 50 licenses or permits that will be given out, 10 will be for growers, 10 for processors, and the remaining 30 for permits pertaining to dispensaries (which could deliver their products). The Bureau of Health in West Virginia will handle regulating them all.

    The distribution of licenses will happen starting in 2019 at the earliest, but further details about the application period and other such information are, as of yet, not decided.

    How many marijuana businesses are there in the state

    Because the medical marijuana program in West Virginia is not yet fully operational, there are no marijuana retailers (medical or otherwise) within the state. Within the next few years, there will be a maximum of 50, including dispensaries, manufacturers, and cultivators.

    For the same reason, there is not enough information to be able to project how much in revenue the marijuana industry will bring in West Virginia.

    Owner requirements

    Location will be essential for business owners who would like to start a medical marijuana dispensary with delivery in West Virginia. At least three regions will be established by the Bureau of Health to ensure that processing facilities, growing operations, and retail businesses will all be fairly distributed across the state. The idea is to make sure that all caregivers and medical marijuana patients will have a facility close enough to access.

    License requirements

    The licensing period for medical marijuana businesses (including dispensaries, which could also deliver) has not yet started. The Bureau of Public Health (Office of Medical Cannabis) is responsible for drafting the licensing and application requirements, and the due date for this draft is July of 2019.

    No matter how many applicants there are, only 30 licenses will be given to retail businesses, 10 to cultivators, and 10 to manufacturing facilities. Tracking of the sourcing of each business’ products (marijuana plants) will need to be done and documented – which is an important aspect of delivery – as well as proven in the application process. Other important aspects include surveillance, security, recordkeeping, transportation, and delivery plans.

    License requirements
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    The following factors will be the priority for licensing officials, in order from most important to least important:

    • Regional Population
    • Number of Patients per Region
    • Types of Condition
    • Access to Public Transportation
    • Approval by Local Authorities
    • Previous disbarment of marijuana businesses
    • Other parameters

    Financial requirements

    The following fees will likely apply to medical marijuana business applicants:

    • $5,000: growers’ and processors’ application fee
    • $2,500: retail business’ application fee
    • $250: existing application amendments (if applicable)
    • $50,000: licensing fee for growers
    • $10,000: licensing fee for retailers
    • $5,000: renewal fees for growers
    • $2,500: renewal fees for retailers

    In addition, businesses can expect to pay 10% in taxes on sales between growers (or processors) and dispensaries, retailers, or delivery services. It is also important to note that patients pay $50 to get their ID card, although this fee may be waived when it is proven to be financially difficult for the individual.

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      Looking to start a dispensary that offers a delivery service in West Virginia? The consulting companies listed below provide a wide range of services from helping with state licensing requirements and applications to running and stocking your business.

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