By Camille Howard
West Virginia State Treasurer John D. Perdue issued a letter
dated March 1, to the governor, president of the Senate,
speaker of the House, DHHR secretary, state tax commissioner,
state health officer and the director of the offi ce of medical
His concerns? No banks within the state are willing to loan
money to startup medical marijuana businesses or process any
funds derived therefrom.
Why? It’s still a federal crime to be in possession of marijuana,
medical or otherwise, even if the state says it’s OK for
Surprised? No. What banking institution would want to
jeopardize their financial well-being and investors in favor of
a federally illegal operation.
While the Obama administration encouraged federal prosecutors
not to prosecute people who distributed medical marijuana,
the Trump administration’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions
has directed the enforcement of the law.
Because of this turn of events, the state treasurer’s office
says it is “uncomfortable with accepting the funds related to
medical cannabis because of the federal law implications that
derive from accepting these funds” and cannot find any alternative
What happened in the Legislature? The Senate passed a
last-minute amended bill and then sent it to the House where
Have we seen the end of it? I doubt it. It’s not enough that
we have a massive opiod problem here, now the state is backing
another potential problem. Does anyone really think all the
medical marijuana prescribed will only be used by the owners
of the scripts?
If you are interested in reading Treasurer Perdue’s letter, it’s
in PDF form on our website grantcountypress.com
If you want to do a little research yourself, it’s HB 4345, or
just search for the 2018 WV Senate Medical Marijuana Bill
HB 4345 or the 2018 WV House Medical Marijuana Bill HB
It makes you wonder.