is weed legal in west virginia

Is Weed Legal In West Virginia: Full Guide

Table of Contents

West Virginia is a state located in the Appalachian region of the United States and appropriately nicknamed the Mountain State. Visitors can explore the state’s natural beauty by hiking in the New River Gorge National Park, whitewater rafting on the Gauley River, and skiing at Snowshoe Mountain Resort. West Virginia is also home to several cultural landmarks, such as the Capitol Market in Charleston and the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Is weed legal in West Virginia? You’ll have to read on to find out. 

Is Weed Legal in West Virginia? Straight to the point.

  • Recreational THC: No
  • Medical THC: Yes
  • CBD: Yes
  • Delta-8: No

Medical Weed Laws

Medical marijuana became legal in West Virginia on April 19, 2017, when Governor Jim Justice signed Senate Bill 386, also known as the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, into law. However, it wasn’t until 2019 that the state began accepting applications for medical marijuana cards.

Age limits for medical marijuana use in West Virginia vary based on the patient’s condition. Patients under 18 years of age must have a parent or legal guardian register as their caregiver, and the caregiver must be at least 21 years old.

Qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana use in West Virginia include:

  • Chronic or intractable pain
  • Cancer
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Neuropathies
  • PTSD
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Spinal cord injury with spasticity
  • Terminally ill with a life expectancy of less than 12 months

There are currently no specific buying limits for medical marijuana in West Virginia. However, patients may possess up to a 30-day supply of medical marijuana, which is defined as up to four ounces of dried plant material, inhaled or extracted oil, or any combination thereof.

To obtain a medical marijuana card in West Virginia, patients must be at least 18 years old, have a qualifying medical condition, and obtain a recommendation from a certified physician. Patients must also register with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and pay an application fee.

Recreational Weed Laws

Trends show that many states with medical marijuana programs usually move towards adult-use recreational legalization. However, recreational weed’s regulatory environment tends to be far more complex. Although many states maintain their medical programs to support patients, the same rules do not apply to the general public once recreational marijuana is legalized. Possession limits may vary, as well as the consequences for using marijuana outside of the state-mandated guidelines. See below for more information about the current legal status and recreational legalization efforts.

Is Weed Decriminalized in West Virginia?

As of April 2021, possession of small amounts of marijuana has been decriminalized in West Virginia. Specifically, possessing 15 grams or less of marijuana is considered a civil infraction, punishable by a fine of $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense, and $250 for a third or subsequent offense. 

However, possessing more than 15 grams of marijuana is still considered a criminal offense and can result in fines and/or jail time. It’s important to note that decriminalization is not the same as legalization, and the sale and distribution of marijuana are still illegal in West Virginia.

Cannabinoid Variants

Aside from cannabinoids derived from marijuana, numerous cannabinoids derived from hemp have become popular due to their therapeutic, medicinal, and recreational advantages. Despite hemp being federally legalized, individual states can still regulate these cannabinoids autonomously. It is worthwhile to investigate West Virginia’s stance on cannabinoids such as CBD, Delta-8, Delta-10, THC-O, HHC, and HHC-O.

Is CBD legal in West Virginia?

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp production in the United States. This legislation opened up vast possibilities for CBD-rich hemp to enter the mainstream market, allowing consumers to purchase CBD in retail establishments and online. CBD is often found in supplements, topicals, edibles, portable vape pens, home goods, and beauty and body care products. 

The Farm Bill legally protects CBD production, but it is not without stipulation. All commercially available CBD products must be derived from hemp and contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. However, some states have elected to regulate CBD independently and may have further restrictions on its use and distribution. In West Virginia, you may purchase, possess, and consume CBD.

Is Delta-8 legal in West Virginia?

The West Virginia State Senate passed a bill on Wednesday, February 28, 2023, that would make it illegal to sell or possess synthetic Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 products in the state. These products, which are sometimes packaged to look like candy, contain stimulants like synthetic THC and would be classified as Schedule I substances if the bill becomes law. 

The Senate unanimously voted in favor of the ban, which Senator Mike Stuart proposed, citing the need to protect children in West Virginia from what he called ‘the next opiate crisis.’ The West Virginia Oil Marketers & Grocers Association (OMEGA) had previously been working with the State Senate to put additional regulations on legal products to prevent illegal ones from being sold in stores. 

A companion bill allows for the continued production of these products using hemp, which contains small amounts of non-intoxicating naturally occurring THC, but only to people who are 21 or older. OMEGA claims that Senator Stuart inaccurately depicted legal CBD Delta-8 and Delta-10 products in media interviews and that they are committed to keeping legal CBD products out of the hands of children in the state.

Is Delta-10 legal in West Virginia? 

As of February 28, 2023, Delta-10 is illegal in West Virginia since the state has passed a bill that makes it illegal to sell or possess synthetic Delta-10 products, along with Delta-8 and Delta-9. These products are classified as Schedule I substances due to their stimulant content.

Are THC-O and other THC variants legal in West Virginia? 

In recent years, alternative hemp-derived cannabinoids have dominated the market as a more accessible way to get high. However, they have existed in a legal gray area until February 2023. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has declared Delta-8-THC-O and Delta-9-THC-O illegal controlled substances. These compounds are not naturally occurring in either hemp or marijuana and are considered synthetic cannabinoids. 

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp and its byproducts so long as they contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9-THC by volume. The market for cannabinoids has grown in the states since then as several alternative cannabinoids emerged, including synthetic THC isomers. 

For the time being, this latest update does not affect alternative cannabinoids like THC-JD, THC-P, THCP-O, THC-H, and THC-B because they do exist naturally in trace amounts. Advocates feel that only the end of the federal prohibition on marijuana will successfully regulate synthetic or naturally occurring cannabinoids.

Are HHC and HHC-O legal in West Virginia?

Are HHC and HHC-O legal in West Virginia?

Cultivation Laws

West Virginia does not allow for the cultivation of cannabis for personal or medical use. Instead, medical patients can obtain cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries. It’s important to note that growing cannabis without a license is illegal and can result in penalties depending on the amount being grown. Even growing cannabis for sale in small amounts can result in felony charges. See below for more information about penalties for cultivation. 

Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card in West Virginia

In West Virginia, patients with qualifying medical conditions can obtain a medical marijuana card, which allows them to purchase cannabis products from state-licensed dispensaries.

To be eligible for a medical marijuana card in West Virginia, patients must have a qualifying medical condition, such as chronic pain, cancer, or PTSD, among others. They must also be a resident of West Virginia and have a recommendation from a certified physician who is registered with the state’s medical marijuana program.

Once a patient has obtained a recommendation from a certified physician, they can apply for a medical marijuana card through the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. The application requires personal information, such as name and address, as well as the physician’s recommendation.

There is a $50 fee to apply for a medical marijuana card in West Virginia, and the card is valid for one year. Patients must renew their card annually and continue to have a qualifying medical condition.

It’s important to note that even with a medical marijuana card, it is illegal to consume cannabis products in public places or operate a vehicle under the influence of cannabis. Additionally, employers in West Virginia are not required to accommodate the use of medical cannabis in the workplace.

Where to Buy Weed in West Virginia

There are limited options for access to legal weed in West Virginia, so be sure to buy from a legal and trusted source. Here are the options. 


Currently, in West Virginia, there are only nine licensed medical cannabis dispensaries available for patients who hold a valid medical marijuana card. These dispensaries are regulated by the West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis and can only sell products from licensed growers and processors. 

The state had planned to issue licenses for up to 100 dispensaries across the state, with a maximum of 10 per region. However, only a small number of dispensaries have opened their doors, with two processors and six growers also operational across the state. Patients can search for licensed dispensaries in West Virginia on the Office of Medical Cannabis website or by contacting the state’s medical cannabis program. 


Currently, there are no medical cannabis delivery options in West Virginia. As the program expands, proponents are hopeful that the revised laws will allow for cannabis delivery. 

Direct to Consumer

In West Virginia, direct-to-consumer purchasing of cannabis is not allowed. Only medical marijuana cardholders can buy cannabis products in person at licensed dispensaries.

Black Market

Despite legalization efforts, the marijuana black market remains active. The illegal purchase of weed from a black market dealer comes with serious risks. Not only is it difficult to determine the potency and purity of the product, but the legal implications can be disastrous. In some cases, a mere slap on the wrist, but in others, buying weed illegally results in jail time or a prison sentence. For those that live in a state with a medical or recreational marijuana program, it’s best to obtain cannabis through legal channels.

Efforts to Legalize Recreational Weed in West Virginia

West Virginia’s Danielle Walker (D-Monongalia) has introduced House Bill 2091 proposing the legalization of marijuana statewide, amending the Code of West Virginia from 1931. The bill aims to legalize cannabis and cannabis products for persons aged 21 or older, regulate them similarly to alcohol, and legalize possession of up to one ounce and private consumption. 

Government property use and driving under the influence would remain prohibited. A 15% tax on cannabis retailers and licensing requirements are proposed, with revenues deposited in the new Cannabis Transfer Tax Fund in the State Treasury. The bill awaits approval from the House of Health & Human Resources Committee.

General FAQ

Where can you smoke weed in West Virginia?

Currently, only medical marijuana patients with a valid medical card are allowed to possess and consume cannabis products in West Virginia. However, smoking or consuming marijuana in public places is illegal in the state. It is recommended that medical marijuana patients consume cannabis products in private areas to avoid any legal issues. 

Can you smoke weed in public in West Virginia?

No, smoking or consuming cannabis in public is illegal in West Virginia, even for medical marijuana patients. Doing so can result in fines and other legal consequences. It is recommended to consume cannabis in private residences or other private locations where it is allowed.

When was medical weed legalized in West Virginia?

Medical marijuana was legalized in West Virginia in April 2017 when Governor Jim Justice signed Senate Bill 386, also known as the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act.

Punishment for Illegal Acts FAQ

What are the penalties for selling, gifting, transporting, or importing weed?

If you’re caught with any amount of marijuana in West Virginia, you could face a misdemeanor charge with up to 90 days to 6 months of incarceration and a maximum fine of $1,000. But for first-time possession of fewer than 15 grams of marijuana, the court may give you probation with drug testing and supervision instead of a conviction.

Selling or distributing any amount of marijuana in the state is a felony offense that can get you imprisoned for a minimum of one year and a maximum of five years, plus a fine of up to $15,000. If you’re caught trafficking marijuana into West Virginia, you could also face a felony charge with the same penalties. And if you sell or deliver marijuana to a minor or within 1,000 feet of a school, there’s a mandatory minimum sentence of two years.

What is the penalty for selling to a minor?

In West Virginia, selling or delivering marijuana to a minor or within 1,000 feet of a school is considered a more serious offense. It’s a felony that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years in prison, but the maximum sentence is not specified. Additionally, there is no maximum fine for this offense.

What is possession with the intent to sell?

Possession with the intent to sell, also known as possession with intent to distribute, is when a person is caught in possession of a controlled substance, such as marijuana, with the intention of selling or distributing it to others.
This charge is typically more severe than simple possession because it implies that the person had a larger amount of drugs than what would be considered for personal use and had the intention to profit from selling them. 
The penalties for possession with intent to sell can vary depending on the number of drugs involved and the jurisdiction, but it is usually a felony offense that can result in significant fines and lengthy prison sentences.

When is possession a crime?

Possession of certain items or substances can be considered a crime when they are illegal or when there is no legal permission to have them. For example, possessing illegal drugs, stolen property, or firearms without proper licensing can be considered a crime. The specifics of what is considered illegal possession may vary depending on local, state, or federal laws.

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