Medical cannabis just became much more accessible in West Virginia, now that the state opened its very first medical cannabis dispensary. Trulieve Medical Dispensary saw its grand opening with eager patients lined down the sidewalk on Friday.
Surprisingly, residents in West Virginia with medical cards didn’t have many other options to purchase their cannabis before Trulieve. Medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 2017, and it took roughly four years to get an actual storefront dispensary up and running.
Patients like Rob Frye, an Army veteran, and Purple Heart recipient, has been waiting for months to get his hands on the proper healthcare products. But it was worth the wait to be the dispensary’s first customer. Frye told WVNews that he was “monumentally honored” to be the first patient and represent the thousands of veterans in the first step of getting the proper medication they need.
To be eligible for medical cannabis in West Virginia, those must have a qualifying condition and receive a medical cannabis card from a qualified physician. Read more on what conditions are eligible for medical cannabis here.
The third patient lined up for Trulieve’s grand opening was Sabrina Howland, who drove all the way from Hurricane, WV, to get her hands on quality medicine. She told WVNews that she had been waiting to use her medical card since March, but a lack of dispensaries kept that from happening. “I decided to come out here today because it will help me, and I need it,” she adds.
Howland struggles to work and drive due to her neuropathy, and previous medications never seemed to help—they would make her drowsy. Thus, Howland sought cannabis to help bring her life back together. Trulieve’s CEO, Kim Rivers, was thrilled to greet the big crowd of patients and thanked the state delegates like Del. Danielle Walker, Del. Evan Hansen, and Morgantown city council member Ixya Vega who showed their support at the grand opening.
Trulieve also opened the state’s second medical cannabis dispensary on Monday in Weston. Both stores are open Thursday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. Hours will increase as the dispensary gains more staff.
Finally, store manager Johnathan Franklin expressed his gratitude and told WVNews that “we want to heal West Virginia. That is our mindset.” He added that patients have been waiting a very long time to get the medication they need, “I’m sorry it’s taken so long, but we’re here now, and we’re here to heal you.”