0407 - Central Office General Administrative Fu

Sources of Revenue:

General Fund

Legislation creates:

A New Program

Fiscal Note Summary

Effect this measure will have on costs and revenues of state government.

    The purpose of this bill is to create the Medical Marijuana Act of 2013 in order to protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, as well as their practitioners and providers, from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties, and property forfeiture, if such patients engage in the medical use of medical marijuana. The bill provides that the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources administer the provisions of the act. It also provides that the Circuit Court of Kanawha County has jurisdiction to hear petitions and appeals concerning provisions of act.
    The Department estimates the fiscal impact of this bill to be approximately $214,706 with $24,000 in revenue.
    This fiscal note is for the licensing of Compassion Centers and Safety Compliance Facilities only. This note only includes the minimum of 5 Compassion Centers and 1 Safety Compliance Facility as outlined in the bill. This does not include the cost or resources for the registration and registry database for program participants.
    Additionally, the Department's Bureau for Medical Services could incur costs resulting from the passage of this legislation; please see Memorandum section.

Fiscal Note Detail

Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 214,706 209,772
Personal Services 0 139,690 139,690
Current Expenses 0 70,082 70,082
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 4,934 0
Other 0 0 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 24,000 24,000

Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):

    In order to license compassion centers and safety compliance facilities, the Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification (OHFLAC) would need 1 Program Manager 2 ($52,000/salary; $11,440/ benefits),1 Health Facility (Nurse) Surveyor ($40,000/salary; $8,800/benefits) and 1 Office Assistant 3 ($22,500/salary; $4,950/benefits) for support services. OHFLAC does not currently have a unit or staff to absorb the activity of licensing compassion centers. This estimation is based on the first two (2) years as discussed in the proposed legislation. Should the number of facilities increase as suggested in the bill, additional Health Facilities Surveyors would be necessary. At a minimum, the bill would require 5 compassion centers and at least 1 safety compliance center to be licensed at no more than $4000 per facility. This would be a revenue of $24,000. Additional Health Facility (Nurse) Surveyors may be needed after 2 years of the program based on the states population and request for facilities.
    Other costs include travel (includes per diem, lodging, auto) at $67,082, training (includes registration fees, license renewals, travel associated with training) at $3,000, and a one-time equipment purchase (includes tablets, computer bags, printers) at $4,934.


    At this time, the federal government has classified marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Based on that classification, the federal government has not recognized medical purpose in marijuana but recognizes a high potential for abuse. There is no indication that the status of the Schedule 1 classification will change in the future, and there is no FDA or DEA approval for marijuana for medical use. These factors indicate that CMS would not support marijuana as a Medicaid covered benefit. Based on the information currently available , it is believed that any provision of coverage for marijuana would be at all State dollars with no federal matching funds available.
    As medical marijuana use in West Virginia would be new, there is no historical information or data upon which to base an estimate for cost either in terms of the number of Medicaid members whose medical conditions would qualify them for medical marijuana prescriptions, utilization data or the cost of medical marijuana. Research online indicates that costs vary based on the needs of the individual, and can range from $350 for one ounce (approximately a six-week supply per Insurance & Financial Advisors Webnews) or $20-$60 for an eighth of an ounce which is approximately three marijuana cigarettes (per Kaiser Health News).

    Person submitting Fiscal Note: Rocco S. Fucillo
    Email Address: