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Chapter 16 A     Entire Code


ARTICLE 1. SHORT TITLE.

ARTICLE 2. DEFINITIONS.

ARTICLE 4. PRACTITIONERS.

ARTICLE 5. PATIENTS.

ARTICLE 6. MEDICAL CANNABIS ORGANIZATIONS.

ARTICLE 7. MEDICAL CANNABIS CONTROLS.

ARTICLE 8. DISPENSARIES.

ARTICLE 9. TAX ON MEDICAL CANNABIS.

ARTICLE 10. ADMINISTRATION.

ARTICLE 11. MEDICAL CANNABIS ADVISORY BOARD.

ARTICLE 12. OFFENSES RELATED TO MEDICAL CANNABIS.

ARTICLE 13. RESEARCH PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 14. ACADEMIC CLINICAL RESEARCH CENTERS.

ARTICLE 15. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS.

ARTICLE 16. EFFECTIVE DATE.

ARTICLE 3. MEDICAL CANNABIS PROGRAM.

§16A-3-1.  Establishment of program.

(a)  A medical cannabis program for patients suffering from serious medical conditions is established. The program shall be implemented and administered by the bureau. The bureau shall:

(1)  Issue permits to medical cannabis organizations to authorize them to grow, process or dispense medical cannabis and ensure their compliance with this act.

(2)  Register practitioners and ensure their compliance with this act.

(3)  Have regulatory and enforcement authority over the growing, processing, sale and use of medical cannabis in this state.

(4)  Establish and maintain an electronic database to include activities and information relating to medical cannabis organizations, certifications and identification cards issued, practitioner registration and electronic tracking of all medical cannabis as required under this act to include:

(A)  Ensurance that medical cannabis is not diverted or otherwise used for unlawful purposes by a practitioner or medical cannabis organization.

(B)  Ability to establish the authenticity of identification cards.

(C)  Recording recommended forms of medical cannabis provided in a certification filed by the practitioner.

(D)  Monitoring all growth, transfer, possession, processing, testing and dispensing of medical cannabis in this state.

(E)  The tracking system under article seven of this chapter must include information under section one, article eight of this chapter and any other information required by the bureau to be used by the bureau and dispensaries to enable a dispensary to lawfully provide medical cannabis. The tracking system and database shall be capable of providing information in real time. The database shall be capable of receiving information from a dispensary regarding the disbursement of medical cannabis to patients and caregivers. This information shall be immediately accessible to the bureau and other dispensaries to inhibit diversion and ensure compliance with this act.

(5)  Maintain a directory of patients and caregivers approved to use or assist in the administration of medical cannabis within the bureau’s database.

(6)  Develop a four-hour training course for physicians regarding the latest scientific research on medical cannabis, including the risks and benefits of medical cannabis and other information deemed necessary by the bureau. Successful completion of the course shall be approved as continuing education credits as determined by:

(A)  The State Board of Medicine.

(B)  The State Board of Osteopathic Medicine.

(7)  Develop a two-hour course for the principals and employees of a medical cannabis organization who either have direct contact with patients or caregivers or who physically handle medical cannabis. Employees must successfully complete the course no later than ninety days after commencing employment. Principals must successfully complete the course prior to commencing initial operation of the medical cannabis organization. The subject matter of the course shall include the following:

(A)  Methods to recognize and report unauthorized activity, including diversion of medical cannabis for unlawful purposes and falsification of identification cards.

(B)  Proper handling of medical cannabis and recordkeeping.

(C)  Any other subject required by the bureau.

(8)  Develop enforcement procedures, including announced and unannounced inspections of facilities of the grower/processors and dispensaries and all records of the medical cannabis organizations.

(9)  Establish a program to authorize the use of medical cannabis to conduct medical research relating to the use of medical cannabis to treat serious medical conditions, including the collection of data and the provision of research grants.

(10)  Establish and maintain public outreach programs about the medical cannabis program, including:

(A)  A dedicated telephone number for patients, caregivers and members of the public to obtain basic information about the dispensing of medical cannabis under this act.

(B)  A publicly accessible Internet website with similar information.

(11)  Collaborate as necessary with other state agencies or contract with third parties as necessary to carry out the provisions of this act.

(12)  Determine the number and type of medical cannabis products to be produced by a grower/processor and dispensed by a dispensary.

(13)  Develop recordkeeping requirements for all books, papers, any electronic database or tracking system data and other information of a medical cannabis organization. Information shall be retained for a minimum period of four years unless otherwise provided by the bureau.

(14)  Restrict the advertising and marketing of medical cannabis, which shall be consistent with the Federal rules and regulations governing prescription drug advertising and marketing.

(b)  The bureau shall propose rules for legislative promulgation pursuant to the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code as may be necessary to carry out and implement the provisions of this act.  The bureau shall also have the power to propose and promulgate emergency rules as may be necessary to carry out and implement the provisions of this act.

§16A-3-2.  Lawful use of medical cannabis.

(a)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the use or possession of medical cannabis as set forth in this act is lawful within this state, subject to the following conditions:

(1)  Medical cannabis may only be dispensed to:

(A)  a patient who receives a certification from a practitioner and is in possession of a valid identification card issued by the bureau; and

(B)  a caregiver who is in possession of a valid identification card issued by the bureau.

(2)  Subject to rules promulgated under this act, medical cannabis may only be dispensed to a patient or caregiver in the following forms:

(A)  Pill;

(B)  Oil;

(C)  Topical forms, including gels, creams or ointments;

(D)  A form medically appropriate for administration by vaporization or nebulization, excluding dry leaf or plant form until dry leaf or plant forms become acceptable under rules adopted by the bureau;

(E)  Tincture;

(F)  Liquid; or

(G) Dermal patch.

(3)  Unless otherwise provided in rules adopted by the bureau under section two, article eleven of this chapter, medical cannabis may not be dispensed to a patient or a caregiver in dry leaf or plant form.

(4)  An individual may not act as a caregiver for more than five patients.

(5)  A patient may designate up to two caregivers at any one time.

(6)  Medical cannabis that has not been used by the patient shall be kept in the original package in which it was dispensed.

(7)  A patient or caregiver shall possess an identification card whenever the patient or caregiver is in possession of medical cannabis.

(8)  Products packaged by a grower/processor or sold by a dispensary shall only be identified by the name of the grower/processor, the name of the dispensary, the form and species of medical cannabis, the percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinol contained in the product.

§16A-3-3.  Unlawful use of medical cannabis.

(a)  Except as provided in section two of this article, section four of article seven, article thirteen or article fourteen of this chapter, the use of medical cannabis is unlawful and shall, in addition to any other penalty provided by law, be deemed a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act under chapter sixty-a of this code.

(b)  It shall be unlawful to:

(1)  Smoke medical cannabis.

(2)  Except as provided under subsection (c), incorporate medical cannabis into edible form or sell in edible form.

(3)  Grow medical cannabis unless the grower/processor has received a permit from the bureau under this act.

(4)  Grow or dispense medical cannabis unless authorized as a health care medical cannabis organization under article thirteen of this chapter.

(5)  Dispense medical cannabis unless the dispensary has received a permit from the bureau under this act.

(c)  Edible medical cannabis. — Nothing in this act shall be construed to preclude the incorporation of medical cannabis into edible form by a patient or a caregiver in order to aid ingestion of the medical cannabis by the patient.

§16A-3-4.  Confidentiality.

(a)  Patient information. — The bureau shall maintain a confidential list of patients and caregivers to whom it has issued identification cards. All information obtained by the bureau relating to patients, caregivers and other applicants shall be confidential and not subject to public disclosure under chapter twenty-nine-b of this code, including specifically the following:

(1)  Individual identifying information about patients and caregivers.

(2)  Certifications issued by practitioners.

(3)  Information on identification cards.

(4)  Information provided by the West Virginia State Police under section two, article five of this chapter.

(5)  Information relating to the patient’s serious medical condition.

(b)  Public information. — The following records are public records and shall be subject to the Freedom of Information Act, under chapter twenty-nine-b of this code:

(1)  Applications for permits submitted by medical cannabis organizations.

(2)  The names, business addresses and medical credentials of practitioners authorized to provide certifications to patients to enable them to obtain and use medical cannabis in this state. All other practitioner registration information shall be confidential and exempt from public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

(3)  Information relating to penalties or other disciplinary actions taken against a medical cannabis organization or practitioner by the bureau for violation of this act.

§16A-3-5.  Reciprocity for terminally ill cancer patients.

The bureau may enter into reciprocity agreements with any states that have comparable requirements for the use and lawful purchase of medical cannabis in a manner consistent with the provisions of this article to allow terminally ill cancer patients to purchase medical cannabis in another state.

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