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Banking Issues

Medical marijuana facing delays

It may seem strange that the primary obstacle in implementing West Virginia’s medicinal marijuana law is not the health care aspect of the matter but, rather, banking. But, as an Associated Press story a few days ago noted, that is the case.

State officials believe they may have found a way to get around federal laws that prohibit financial institutions from working with marijuana producers and sellers. It may require several months to get the banking solution in place.

Legislators approved medicinal marijuana in 2017, with the goal of having businesses in place by July 1. That did not happen — and state officials say it may take another two years to get all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle in place.

Among them are rules for patients seeking medicinal marijuana (actually, the active chemical ingredient, not the smokable plant). And, rules for producers and retailers must be established.

While all this is going on, West Virginians who think their health could be improved by medicinal marijuana will wait impatiently. Their frustration is understandable.

But, as we have suggested previously, getting the system right — or as much so as possible — is of critical importance. Especially when it comes to health and safety concerns, including those of law enforcement, no corners should be cut