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West Virginia teetering on Cannabis Vertical Integration

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The State of Virginia is considering legalizing a vertical integration in the medical cannabis industry. They will now be adding a second fix to the existing cannabis bill, that is proving to be a bit limited, particularly for those making it.

Rethinking vertical integration

This new bill would enable integration of those involved in dispensaries, distribution and cultivating of the marijuana plant for medical purposes. This would mean that people will have the right to participate in all three activities, previously prohibited by law.

West Virginia did, however,resolve their medical marijuana mix a while back. As in, the state does have a law legalizing the use of marijuana to treat several medical conditions.There is however one small problem with it.

The same law clearly states that individuals could be involved in the distribution, growth and harvesting or in running dispensaries, but they are prohibited from undertaking a combination of all three, even if it is for medical purposes.

This new legislation seeks to change this second part; making it easier for companies to take up all three business activities. It seems that many delegates and advocates are supporting this bill as well.

Who else is in on board?

Kanawha Delegate Mike Pushkin is one of them, and he says that talks with people in states where this is legal proved one thing – that the bill would make it economically viable for all involved.

Advocates that have pushed for something like this, think that West Virginia is taking its time when it comes to setting up this program.

Rusty Williams, the advocate for West Virginia’s Medical Cannabis Patients,said that this was necessary to relieve patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, cancer and Multiple Sclerosis.It would greatly reduce the cost of buying cannabis.

He continued on to say that these people would really be the ones to benefit and as soon as this would be legalized, the better everyone will be.

How much time do law makers require?

The House does appear to be making some progress though. They have passed a banking bill which enables financial institutions like credit unions to process payments and fees connected to the buying and selling of medical cannabis throughout West Virginia. The bill still has to be reviewed by the State Senate but is halfway there.

Once that has been finalized, West Virginia will move onto working on the vertical integration bill. Pushkin says that this pace is to be expected, he mentioned earlier that if they were going to do something, they need to do it right. They had passed the medical cannabis bill previously, amid overwhelming efforts. They need to work on this bill just as hard, so it works for everyone once it’s been passed.

The House is however pressed for time.There are only two week left in the current legislative session, if any fixes are to this bill are to be done.

As of the 1st of July this year, one can easily purchase medical cannabis from authorized centers. Advocates have mentioned that legislative delays could slow things down, meaning that the possible start state will sometime in March next year.

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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