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Chapter 16 A     Entire Code


ARTICLE 1. SHORT TITLE.

ARTICLE 2. DEFINITIONS.

ARTICLE 3. MEDICAL CANNABIS PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 4. PRACTITIONERS.

ARTICLE 5. PATIENTS.

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 6. MEDICAL CANNABIS ORGANIZATIONS.

§16A-6-1.  Authorized medical cannabis organizations.

The following entities shall be authorized to receive a permit to operate as a medical cannabis organization to grow, process or dispense medical cannabis:

(1) Growers.

(2) Processors.

(3)  Dispensaries.

§16A-6-2.  Permits.

(a)  Application. — An application for a grower, processor or dispensary permit to grow, process or dispense medical cannabis shall be in a form and manner prescribed by the bureau and shall include:

(1)  Verification of all principals, operators, financial backers or employees of a medical cannabis grower/processor or dispensary.

(2)  A description of responsibilities as a principal, operator, financial backer or employee.

(3)  Any release necessary to obtain information from governmental agencies, employers and other organizations.

(4)  A criminal history record check. Medical cannabis organizations applying for a permit shall submit fingerprints of principals, financial backers, operators and employees to the West Virginia State Police for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record checks and the West Virginia State Police or its authorized agent shall submit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of verifying the identity of the principals, financial backers, operators and employees and obtaining a current record of any criminal arrests and convictions. Any criminal history record information relating to principals, financial backers, operators and employees obtained under this section by the bureau may be interpreted and used by the bureau only to determine the principal’s, financial backer’s, operator’s and employee’s character, fitness and suitability to serve as a principal, financial backer, operator and employee under this act. This subdivision shall not apply to an owner of securities in a publicly traded corporation if the bureau determines that the owner of the securities is not substantially involved in the activities of the medical cannabis organization.

(5)  Details relating to a similar license, permit or other authorization obtained in another jurisdiction, including any suspensions, revocations or discipline in that jurisdiction.

(6)  A description of the business activities in which it intends to engage as a medical cannabis organization.

(7)  A statement that the applicant:

(A)  Is of good moral character. For purposes of this subparagraph, an applicant shall include each financial backer, operator, employee and principal of the medical cannabis organization.

(B)  Possesses the ability to obtain in an expeditious manner the right to use sufficient land, buildings and other premises and equipment to properly carry on the activity described in the application and any proposed location for a facility.

(C)  Is able to maintain effective security and control to prevent diversion, abuse and other illegal conduct relating to medical cannabis.

(D)  Is able to comply with all applicable State laws and rules relating to the activities in which it intends to engage under this act.

(8)  The name, residential address and title of each financial backer and principal of the applicant. Each individual, or lawful representative of a legal entity, shall submit an affidavit with the application setting forth:

(A)  Any position of management or ownership during the preceding ten years of a controlling interest in any other business, located inside or outside this state, manufacturing or distributing controlled substances.

(B)  Whether the person or business has been convicted of a criminal offense graded higher than a summary offense or has had a permit relating to medical cannabis suspended or revoked in any administrative or judicial proceeding.

(9)  Any other information the bureau may require.

(b)  Notice. — An application shall include notice that a false statement made in the application is punishable under the applicable provisions of law.

§16A-6-3. Granting of permit.

(a) The bureau may grant or deny a permit to a grower, processor, or dispensary. In making a decision under this subsection, the bureau shall determine that:

(1) The applicant will maintain effective control of and prevent diversion of medical cannabis.

(2) The applicant will comply with all applicable laws of this state.

(3) The applicant is a resident of this state as defined in §29-22B-327 of this code or is organized under the law of this state. If the applicant is a business entity, majority ownership in the business entity must be held by a state resident or residents.

(4) The applicant is ready, willing, and able to properly carry on the activity for which a permit is sought.

(5) The applicant possesses the ability to obtain in an expeditious manner sufficient land, buildings, and equipment to properly grow, process, or dispense medical cannabis.

(6) It is in the public interest to grant the permit.

(7) The applicant, including the financial backer or principal, is of good moral character and has the financial fitness necessary to operate.

(8) The applicant is able to implement and maintain security, tracking, recordkeeping, and surveillance systems relating to the acquisition, possession, growth, manufacture, sale, delivery, transportation, distribution, or the dispensing of medical cannabis as required by the bureau.

(9) The applicant satisfies any other conditions as determined by the bureau.

(b) Nontransferability. — A permit issued under this chapter shall be nontransferable.

(c) Privilege. — The issuance or renewal of a permit shall be a revocable privilege.

(d) Dispensary location. — The bureau shall consider the following when issuing a dispensary permit:

(1) Geographic location;

(2) Regional population;

(3) The number of patients suffering from serious medical conditions;

(4) The types of serious medical conditions;

(5) Access to public transportation;

(6) Approval by local health departments;

(7) Whether the county has disallowed the location of a grower, processor, or dispensary; and

(8) Any other factor the bureau deems relevant.

(e) Application procedure. — The bureau shall establish a procedure for the fair and objective evaluation of all applications for all medical cannabis organization permits. Such evaluations shall score each applicant numerically according to standards set forth in this chapter.

§16A-6-4.  Notice.

When the boundaries under subsection (d), section three of this article are established, the bureau shall publish notice of the determination in the State Register. The bureau may adjust the boundaries as necessary every two years. Notice of any adjustment to the boundaries shall be published in the State Register.

§16A-6-5.  Application and issuance.

(a)  Duty to report. — An applicant to be a grower/processor or to operate a dispensary is under a continuing duty to:

(1)  Report to the bureau any change in facts or circumstances reflected in the application or any newly discovered or occurring fact or circumstance which is required to be included in the application, including a change in control of the medical cannabis organization.

(2)  Report to law enforcement, within twenty-four hours, any loss or theft of medical cannabis.

(3)  Submit to announced or unannounced inspections by the bureau of the facilities for growing, processing, dispensing or selling medical cannabis, including all records of the organization.

(b)  Additional information. — If the bureau is not satisfied that the applicant should be issued a permit, the bureau shall notify the applicant in writing of the factors for which further documentation is required. Within thirty days of the receipt of the notification, the applicant may submit additional material to the bureau.

§16A-6-6.  Fees and other requirements.

 The following apply:

(1)  For a grower or processor:

(A)  An initial application fee in the amount of $5,000 shall be paid. The fee is nonrefundable.

(B)  A fee for a permit as a grower/processor in the amount of $50,000 shall be paid. The permit shall be valid for one year. Applicants shall submit the permit fee at the time of submission of the application. The fee shall be returned if the permit is not granted.

(C)  A renewal fee for the permit as a grower/processor in the amount of $5,000 shall be paid and shall cover renewal for all locations. The renewal fee shall be returned if the renewal is not granted.

(D)  An application to renew a permit must be filed with the bureau not more than six months nor less than four months prior to expiration.

(E)  All fees shall be paid by certified check or money order.

(2)  For a dispensary:

(A)  An initial application fee in the amount of $2,500 shall be paid. The fee is nonrefundable.

(B)  A permit fee for a dispensary shall be $10,000 for each location. The period of the permit is one year. An applicant shall submit the permit fee at the time of submission of the application. The fee shall be returned if the application is not granted.

(C)  A renewal fee for the permit as a dispensary in the amount of $2,500 shall be paid. The fee shall be returned if the renewal is not granted and shall cover renewal for all locations.

(D)  An application to renew a permit must be filed with the bureau not more than six months nor less than four months prior to expiration.

(E)  All fees shall be paid by certified check or money order.

(3)  A fee of $250 shall be required when amending the application to indicate relocation within this state or the addition or deletion of approved activities by the medical cannabis organization.

(4)  Fees payable under this section shall be deposited into the fund.

§16A-6-7.  Issuance.

A permit issued by the bureau to a medical cannabis organization shall be effective only for that organization and shall specify the following:

(1)  The name and address of the medical cannabis organization.

(2)  The activities of the medical cannabis organization permitted under this act.

(3)  The land, buildings, facilities or location to be used by the medical cannabis organization.

(4)  Any other information required by the bureau.

§16A-6-8.  Relocation.

The bureau may approve an application from a medical cannabis organization to relocate within this state or to add or delete activities or facilities.

§16A-6-9.  Terms of permit.

A permit issued by the bureau shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance.

§16A-6-10. Permit renewals.

(a)  Renewal. — An application for renewal shall include the following information:

(1)  Any material change in the information provided by the medical cannabis organization in a prior application or renewal of a permit.

(2)  Any charge or initiated, pending or concluded investigation, during the period of the permit, by any governmental or administrative agency with respect to:

(A)  Any incident involving the theft, loss or possible diversion of medical cannabis grown, processed or dispensed by the applicant; and

(B)  Compliance by the applicant with the laws of this state with respect to any substance listed under article two, chapter sixty-a of this code.

(b)  Approval. — The bureau shall renew a permit unless the bureau determines that:

(1)  The applicant is unlikely to maintain or be able to maintain effective control against diversion of medical cannabis.

(2)  The applicant is unlikely to comply with all laws of this state applicable to the activities in which it may engage under the permit.

(c)  Nonrenewal decision. — The denial or nonrenewal shall specify in detail how the applicant has not satisfied the bureau’s requirements for renewal. Within thirty days of the bureau’s decision, the applicant may submit additional material to the bureau or demand a hearing, or both. If a hearing is demanded, the bureau shall fix a date as soon as practicable.

§16A-6-11.  Suspension or revocation.

The bureau may suspend or revoke a medical cannabis organization permit if:

(1)  The bureau has evidence that the medical cannabis organization has failed to maintain effective control against diversion of medical cannabis.

(2)  The organization violates any provision of this act or a rule of the bureau.

(3)  The organization has intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or negligently failed to comply with applicable laws of this State relating to medical cannabis.

§16A-6-12.  Convictions prohibited.

(a) The following individuals may not hold volunteer positions or positions with remuneration in or be affiliated with a medical cannabis organization, including a clinical registrant under article fourteen of this chapter, in any way if the individual has been convicted of any felony criminal offense related to the sale or possession of illegal drugs, narcotics or controlled substances, or conspiracy thereof:

(1)  Financial backers.

(2)  Principals.

(3)  Employees.

(b) If an individual seeking to hold a volunteer position or position with remuneration in or be affiliated with a dispensary is otherwise prohibited under subsection (a) of this section, such individual may seek a waiver from the bureau in order to hold such a position with a dispensary.  The allowance of the waiver, including any additional restrictions or conditions as part of the waiver, shall be in the discretion of the bureau.

§16A-6-13. Limitations on permits.

(a) The following limitations apply to approval of permits for growers, processors, and dispensaries, subject to the limitations in subsection (b) of this section:

(1) The bureau may not issue permits to more than 10 growers: Provided, That each grower may have up to two locations per permit.

(2) The bureau may not issue permits to more than 10 processors.

(3) The bureau may not issue permits to more than 100 dispensaries.

(4) The bureau may not issue more than 10 individual dispensary permits to one person.

(5) The bureau may not issue more than one individual grower permit to one person.

(6) The bureau may not issue more than one individual processor permit to one person.

(7) A dispensary may only obtain medical cannabis from a grower or processor holding a valid permit under this act.

(8) A grower or processor may only provide medical cannabis to a dispensary holding a valid permit under this act.

(9) A person may hold a grower permit, a processor permit, and a dispensary permit, or any combination thereof, concurrently.

(b) Before a permit may be issued, the bureau shall obtain the following:

(1) A written approval from the board of health for the county in which the permit is to be located and operate business.

(2) A written statement from the county commission for the county in which the permit is to be located and conduct business that the county has not voted, pursuant to §16A-7-6 of this code, to disapprove a medical cannabis organization to be located or operate within the county.
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