MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The first medical cannabis dispensary in West Virginia is open for business and it was a busy first day.
The company Trulieve opened a state-approved dispensary in Sabraton Friday and plans to open a second in Weston on Monday.
Those with state-issued medical marijuana cards stood in line outside the shop for several hours before the doors opened Friday morning.
Medical marijuana was legalized in West Virginia in 2017 when Senate Bill 386 was signed into law. During the past four years state officials created the Office of Medical Cannabis which has developed regulations for growers, producers, retailers and medical cannabis patients.
Truelieve CEO Kim Rivers greeted the large crowd.
“I’m incredibly excited to welcome you today to the first ever medical marijuana dispensary in the state of West Virginia.”
Those comments were greeted with a large round applause.
Ron Frye, an Army veteran, was the first in line.
“I’m monumentally honored, not only to be the first patient in West Virginia, but to represent thousands of veterans in the state in this first step to getting them education,” Frye said.
Trulieve operates in 8 states and employs about 8,000 people nationwide. In West Virginia, CEO Kim Rivers said they’ll be expanding over the next year.
“We have nine dispensary licenses currently. We’re opening two stores, one today, one Monday and our third location in Charleston opening very soon,” Rivers said. “We expect to open all nine of those locations throughout the coming year.”
To support that growth, Trulieve plans to add employees at all levels across the state.
“Right we have over 30 people working in cultivation and processing- that’s going to be over 100 in no time flat. We have 20 people at the retail dispensaries and that’s going to go to 100 in no time flat,” Rivers said.
Trulieve is a publicly traded company and regulated