Governor signs bill allowing state agencies to provide banking services for marijuana

CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice signed into law today House Bill 2538, ensuring West Virginia will remain in compliance with federal law while handling funds associated with the state’s medical cannabis program.

“I always have, and I always will fully support medical cannabis for our people who are in so much pain that their physicians deem it absolutely necessary,” Justice said.

“I will say, adamantly, I am one hundred percent against recreational marijuana. But we have a lot of people and families out there who are truly hurting and if medical cannabis can help, we need to do everything we can to make life better for those West Virginians,” Justice added.

Specifically, HB 2538 allows the state treasurer to select, by competitive bid, one or more financial institutions to provide banking services for the fees, penalties, and taxes collected in association with West Virginia’s medical cannabis program.

The bill also establishes the Medical Cannabis Program Fund, which is meant to collect and send all fees, penalties, and taxes authorized under the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act.

HB 2538 establishes another fund, the Treasurer’s Medical Cannabis Fund, allowing the treasurer to charge fees for providing banking services under the act, including fees for expenses incurred, oversight and compliance.

The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act was signed into law by Justice in 2017.

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