PRINCETON — Residents of West Virginia with eligible medical conditions will have the opportunity on December 7 in Mercer County to register for medicinal cannabis products to be sold by a company that plans to open dispensaries in southwest Virginia.
The West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC) is hosting a public registration event for medical cannabis patients from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, December 7 at the Country Inn & Suites along 111 Halls Ridge Road near Princeton, according to an announcement. From the state Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR).
Jason Frame, director of the state OMC, said he knows there are plans for a cannabis dispensary in the Princeton area.
A billboard near the intersection of US Route 460 and Courthouse Road outside Princeton announced that a company called Greenlight Dispensary plans to open an outlet there. The company’s website also announced future dispensaries in Beckley, Logan, Lewisburg and Strollings, but did not provide any opening dates. The company has outlets in Arkansas, the Kansas City area, Missouri, and Illinois. Company officials were not present on Thursday.
Frame said to Bluefield Daily Telegraph.
Dispensaries are located in Morgantown and Weston. He said dispensaries are not for selling recreational cannabis products.
“These are very professional organizations that focus on the medical needs of patients,” Frame said. “Everything sold by us in the country must be approved by us. The medical cannabis products themselves undergo extensive testing to ensure patient safety.”
People who come to these future dispensaries must be residents of West Virginia, and must possess a valid state card showing that they are medical cannabis patients. Frame said patients are now registered for their cards, so they won’t have to wait for them after dispensaries open.
He said dispensaries would not require prescriptions, but that the doctors’ role was to ensure that patients needed. Precautions will be taken to ensure that patients cannot move from one dispensary to another in order to stock the products. The system for monitoring the distribution of medical cannabis is called “from seed to sale”.
“All of these products are monitored by us,” Frame said. “They are monitored from the seed all the way to the patient including the amount the patient buys, which is also limited. They (dispensaries) are all fed into the same electronic system.”
OMC has set requirements that West Virginia residents must meet when applying. Under the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, the following diseases are considered a serious medical condition:
• Situation status for HIV or AIDS
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
• Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with an objective nerve signal for intractable spasm
• Huntington’s disease
• Crohn’s disease
Post-traumatic stress disorder
• intractable seizures
• Sickle cell anemia
• Chronic severe or intractable pain of polyneuropathy or severe chronic or intractable pain
• Incurable disease which is defined as a medical diagnosis of life expectancy of about one year or less if the disease is proceeding in its normal course.
Patients who are already certified by a registered physician with a viable critical medical condition must bring the following items when they appear for public registration on December 7th:
• Completed patient certificate form.
• Driver’s license or state ID.
• Proof of residency in West Virginia, such as an electric bill.
• $50 Patient ID application fee, which must be paid by check or money order.
Patients who have never seen a registered physician should bring the following items in addition to the above:
• At least one piece of medical documentation showing their diagnosis, such as medical records, a letter from a doctor, or office visit summaries.
• A valid personal photo.
• Two proofs of residency in West Virginia, such as utility bills, for state registration.
• Cash, credit, or debit to pay the $150 Physician Evaluation Fee.
Patients with household incomes of 200 percent of the federal poverty level or less can apply for a $50 patient ID fee waiver at the event, according to OMC officials. If an exemption is requested, applicants must submit their most recent W2, payment slips within the last 30 days or proof of eligibility for low income benefits.
OMC officials said appointments are highly encouraged and can be set by calling 304-356-5090. To date, OMC has received approximately 4,734 patient applications for medicinal cannabis.
Patient cards are only valid in West Virginia. Registration does not mean that medical cannabis products can be obtained immediately throughout the state as dispensaries continue to open throughout West Virginia.
The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act allows West Virginia residents with serious medical conditions to purchase medical cannabis for approved medical use in the following forms: birth control pills; oil; topical forms including gels, creams, or ointments; Medically appropriate form of administration by vaporization or nebulization; dry leaf or plant form; tincture; liquid or dermal patch.
In addition to the Princeton event, West Virginia citizens can register for a medical cannabis patient card at www.medcanwv.org. A list of physicians registered to certify patients as eligible to use medical cannabis is available on the website.
– Contact Greg Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org