West Virginia medical marijuana may not be a reality for another two years, but state regulators are ready to start calculating the supply and demand needs of Mountain State patients.
On Oct. 18, 2017, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health announced that it had launched a survey to assess the interests, locations and medical conditions of prospective West Virginia medical marijuana patients.
“This is a non-scientific, anonymous survey to hear from West Virginia residents who may be considering the use of medical cannabis to treat their serious illness,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, State Health Officer and Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health, in a press release. “This evaluation will provide some insight as to the demographics of the potential patient population, where they are currently seeking care, and for what conditions they will be seeking medical cannabis, along with what forms of medical cannabis they may choose to obtain.”
According to Gupta, “this survey is not an effort to register patients or caregivers for the program, but rather is a tool to gauge interest in obtaining medical cannabis.”
Residents have until Nov. 17 to complete the 13-question survey, which includes questions on county and zip code of residence, age, medical conditions, health care providers, access to transportation and preferred form of medical marijuana, among others.
The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board will review the results in December to inform the process of creating and implementing the program’s infrastructure.
Gov. Jim Justice signed the legislation legalizing medical marijuana on April 19, with July 1, 2019, being the earliest West Virginia medical marijuana patients can receive medical marijuana cards.