CHARLESTON — Once again, out-of-state business entities and owners took the majority of dispensary and processor permits for West Virginia’s long-awaited medical cannabis program.
Last week, the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Office of Medical Cannabis announced that 100 dispensaries between 32 companies with locations in 23 counties had been selected. The office announced the selection of 10 growers in October 2020 and 10 processors in November 2020.
According to a review of the dispensaries and processors selected by the Office of Medical Cannabis and a search of records through the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, 22 of the 32 companies selected as dispensaries involved out-of-state entities, controlling 79 of the 100 dispensary locations.
Looking at last year’s selection of medical cannabis processors, seven of the 10 processors came from out-of-state. As previously reported, eight of the selected 10 growers had out-of-state connections.
All of the selected dispensaries, processors, and growers were required to base their operations in West Virginia due to the legal issues surrounding marijuana — a schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act. According to the 2017 Medical Cannabis Act, applicants were either required to be West Virginia residents or majority ownership of the business entity must be held by state residents.
However, the 24 companies participating in the state medical cannabis program either had out-of-state mailing addresses or listed corporate officers — such as presidents — located outside of the state.
Holistic WV Farms I LLC received a grower and processor license, as well as 10 dispensary licenses. The principal office address for Holistic WV Farms is Washington, D.C. A manager listed for Holistic WV Farms is Josh Genderson, the CEO of Holistic Industries, with medical cannabis operations in California, Maryland, D.C., Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Michigan.