CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia's medical marijuana board will recommend that state lawmakers allow patients who meet certain requirements to buy smokable forms of the drug.
The board met Tuesday afternoon and also plans to recommend that legislators increase or remove a cap on the number of growers, processors and dispensaries in the state, and allow a company to serve more than one of those roles — meaning a grower could also be a processor — the Charleston-Gazette-Mail reported.
The board did not approve adding any conditions to the list of conditions patients must be diagnosed with before doctors can recommend medical marijuana.
Under current West Virginia law, doctors can prescribe cannabis for patients who are terminally ill or who have seizures, cancer, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, AIDS and other specified conditions
In addition to limiting marijuana use to people with listed conditions, state law allows patients to start receiving medical marijuana ID cards in July 2019 but prohibits them from growing and smoking their own marijuana.
It also sets fees for companies to get involved and limits the numbers of growers and processors to 10 each, and dispensaries to 30.
Right now, medical marijuana is only legal in the state in the forms of cannabis in pills, oils, topical gels, liquids and a form that can be vaporized.
West Virginia's lawmakers voted last year to legalize the use of marijuana for treatment of certain medical conditions. That bill also set up a Medical Cannabis Advisory Board and directed the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health to oversee implementation of the system.
State Health Officer Dr. Rahul Gupta said people can burn marijuana themselves if they want, "but that's not what we're advocating or recommending."
The state Health and Human Resources Department plans to release a full list of recommendations. They will be presented to lawmakers, who are in session, within days, Gupta said.