Medical Marijuana

PRINCETON — Two companies that applied to the state for permits to operate medical cannabis dispensaries in Mercer County have been approved.

The state Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC) released a list of the 100 dispensary permits approved last week across the state.

Terrasana dba (Doing Business As) Princeton Retail was granted a permit to operate a dispensary in Princeton, and five other sites around the state, including one in Beckley.

Holistic WV Farms LLC, a Washington D.C.-based company, was granted a permit to operate a dispensary in Bluefield as well as in nine other sites around the state. T The company, which already operates in several other states, is also one of 10 companies to be granted a permit to grow marijuana for medical cannabis as well as one of 10 to be permitted to process it. Those facilities are slated to be located in Beaver.

However, neither company has yet applied for a business license here.

The Mercer County Board of Health in December reversed an earlier decision and approved the dispensaries locating in the county.

Ty Smith, code enforcement and zoning director for Princeton, said Terrasana already operates a CBD (hemp products) store in Princeton, but a medical cannabis dispensary is an entirely different business, more like a pharmacy, and is regulated by the state.

The company would need a business license to operate in the city, he said, but otherwise it is permitted.

“We are not out to put a bad spin on medical cannabis,” he said. “That is not my job.”

Smith said he follows the city code as well as the state’s.

“This is not a street drug,” he said. “It is highly regulated. These are medical improvements.”

Bluefield officials helped persuade board of health members to change their position after Holistic WV Farms had approached the city early last year about bringing a dispensary to the city.

City officials highlighted both the value of medical cannabis as a prescribed treatment for many medical conditions as well as the benefits from a business perspective.

Neither Holistic WV Farms nor Terrasana could be reached for any information on their plans.

The OMC also announced that West Virginia residents with serious medical conditions can register to receive medical cannabis beginning at noon Wednesday, Feb. 3, at www.medcanwv.org.

Registration does not mean that medical cannabis products can immediately be obtained, the OMC said.

“The industry is working to build out facilities in West Virginia and the patient card is valid only in West Virginia and offers no legal protections for products obtained outside the West Virginia medical cannabis system. All patients must register through this link as there is no paper option.”

The list of physicians registered to certify patients with a serious medical condition as eligible for the use of medical cannabis is available at www.medcanwv.org.

“Even during this pandemic, the Office of Medical Cannabis has been working hard to advance the program and to achieve these steps to ensure that medical cannabis is made available to West Virginia residents with serious medical conditions,” said Jason Frame, director of the OMC.

The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act permits West Virginia residents with serious medical conditions to procure medical cannabis for certified medical use in the following forms: Pill; oil; topical forms including gels, creams or ointments; a form medically appropriate for administration by vaporization or nebulization, dry leaf or plant form; tincture; liquid; or dermal patch.

Contact Charles Boothe at cboothe@bdtonline. com

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