UPDATE: Raleigh County Commissioners pass medical marijuana ordinance

UPDATE: RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Raleigh County Commission votes to pass medical marijuana ordinance.

The Raleigh County Commission voted unanimously to approve it during a special meeting today.

Stay with WOAY News for further updates on this developing story.

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RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Back in 2017, Governor Justice signed the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act into law that would allow medical cannabis organizations to operate in ten zones across the state.

There is a part in the act that says counties have a say in whether or not these growers and dispensaries can come, and now that the Raleigh County Commission have received the rules and regulations, they plan to act. 

“Tuesday, we will be approving the West Virginia Cannabis Act,” Raleigh County Commission President Dave Tolliver said. 

But what does that mean for Raleigh County? From the commissioner’s desk, a letter will be sent to the county’s health department to tell them it is passed and they must start taking applications for permits. 

“The organization or the people that’s gonna apply for the permit, they’ll have to get a letter from the health department saying it’s okay for these people to sell.” 

That process of getting growers and processors registered along with facilities built as well as getting those registered who will medically need it is what will prolong the industry officially taking off.

Tolliver also says the county has yet to find out which zone Raleigh County will fall under, so they are waiting on the state to get the ball rolling.

“We know that there’s ten zones in West Virginia, and we know there’s going to be ten growers in West Virginia and then you got each processor or each person that has a store that dispenses, it is my understanding you will be able to have two stores in the zone that you are in to disperse the cannabis,” he said. 

However, this is not an easy or cheap process. According to West Virginia code, a grower or processor will have to pay $50,000 and that’s just the permit fee, so Tolliver predicts it will only be big companies who can afford to do this. 

With the money made from this industry in taxes and fees, 55% of that revenue will go toward the Medical Cannabis Program Fund. The other 45% will be broken down to the Fight Substance Abuse Fund and for training for local law enforcement

“The way all the money is going to be spent, there’s not a dime that comes to the county.”

But Tolliver says the reason they want to go ahead and pass it is for jobs to be brought to Raleigh County in the places that will grow, process and dispense.

The county commission special session on this will take place at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14 at the commission.

Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.