West Virginia’s Medical Cannabis Industry and the Importance of Advocacy

Medical Cannabis

By Brian J. Skinner, Esq.

As West Virginia’s Office of Medical Cannabis begins the process of awarding permits to medical cannabis organizations, businesses operating in the state’s nascent medical cannabis industry will be facing immense challenges, both operationally and financially. This is especially true in a state that just a few years ago did not appear ready to accept medical cannabis as a legitimate way to treat serious medical conditions. Despite those challenges, there is now growing support for not only legalization, but the development of better, safer products and ongoing medical research into the many potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

As this new industry begins to establish itself in West Virginia, it is critical that medical cannabis businesses recognize the importance of making their voices heard in the halls of federal, state and local governments. Medical cannabis businesses must take full advantage of opportunities to contribute to the national and state conversation on issues that are vitally important to the growth and general success of the industry. Of particular importance is the role that federal, state and local government will have in regulating medical cannabis, and how that regulation will impact your business. The medical cannabis industry must be prepared to advocate for changes to law at the federal level, including those necessary to ease banking restrictions, but also state laws that will increase the industry’s chances for success as it takes root in West Virginia.

Hartman Harman Cosco (H2C) stands ready to connect you with federal, state, and local government officials whose regulations and policies impact your business. As a bi-partisan government relations and strategic consulting firm with more than a century’s worth of combined experience, H2C is prepared to help you influence policy-makers to ensure your success.

Brian J. Skinner is the former General Counsel to the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health. He assisted the bureau in establishing the Office of Medical Cannabis upon enactment of the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act by drafting procedures and legislative rules. 

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