Time running out to apply for medical marijuana permits in W.Va.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The deadline is fast-approaching for those interested in applying for a permit to operate as a medical marijuana grower, processor, dispensary or laboratory in West Virginia.

The deadline for the permit applications in West Virginia for medical marijuana growers, processors, dispensaries or laboratories is Feb. 18, 2020.

According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources' Office of Medical Cannabis, the application process for a permit closes on Feb. 18, 2020 at 3 p.m.

Over the past few weeks, discussions have been happening about medical marijuana dispensaries in several areas including Dunbar and Ravenswood.

On Monday, a couple of businesses went before Dunbar City Council to talk about opening dispensaries. On Wednesday, a business went before Ravenswood City Council to express interest.

To see our previous coverage of that story, click here.

The use of medical marijuana in West Virginia was approved in 2017 when Gov. Jim Justice signed Senate Bill 386, creating the Medical Cannabis Act.

According to the DHHR, the law allows for cannabis to be used for certified medical use by a West Virginia resident with a serious medical condition.

It approved, certain forms including pills, oils, topical forms including gels, creams or ointment, a form medically appropriate for administration by vaporization or nebulization, excluding dry leaf or plant form unless dry leaf or plants forms become acceptable under rules adopted by the Bureau for Public Health, tincture, liquid or dermal patch.

Leaders say the dispensaries opening hinges on the fact they get approved for a permit through the state.

Currently, the state says no applications for permits have been received. Once the application process closes, no additional applications will be received.

The state says there is no timetable on when the applications will be reviewed, scored and permits awarded. The process could take up to six months.

According to the DHHR's website, The Bureau for Public Health is allowed to issue permits initially for no more than 10 growers, 10
processors and 100 dispensaries.

If you are interested in applying for a permit or you would like more information, click here.