MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Local and state lawmakers from Monongalia County are concerned about changes to medical marijuana dispensary requirements, with officials arguing the chances could delay or prevent some applicants from receiving approval.
State regulations require dispensaries to be at least 1,000 feet from a school or daycare facility. The Monongalia County Health Department amended the order to include libraries and parks, as well as adding dispensaries cannot be part of a strip mall.
Monongalia County Commissioner Tom Bloom said during a public meeting on Wednesday the Board of Health should approve all 21 applications before November. He added the state Office of Medical Cannabis should make decisions regarding permits.
Commissioner Sean Sikora noted the Office of Medical Cannabis delegated permit application approval to local health departments without providing clear guidance.
Delegate Evan Hansen, D-Monongalia, raised separate concerns about the required on-site medical professional.
“That was already debated at the state level, and the Legislature decided to remove that requirement. The local Board of Health does not have the power to reinsert it,” he said.
Hansen stressed failure to approve applications would have a long-term negative effect on the local economy.
“There are many businesses and entrepreneurs that have invested money to come to Mon County with the expectation that those permits would be approved,” he said. “If those permits are not approved, they will have lost those investments.”