CHARLESTON — Although no funding was allocated for the startup of the state’s medical marijuana program, the head of the state Bureau for Public Health said he is looking at internal ways to initially fund the program.
Dr. Rahul Gupta, commissioner of the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, estimated the startup costs for the program will run about $2 million — $700,000 of which will go toward developing a “seed to sale” program to track medical marijuana.
Gupta and other agency and board representatives Monday updated members of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Health, on the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, including work the board has already done along with challenges in the future. Initial funding was one of the concerns mentioned at the meeting.
Senate Bill 386 did not allocate initial funding for the program but did provide mechanisms in subsequent years through fees, Gupta said. He estimated after that startup cost, he expects ongoing costs should be about $1 million.
Gupta said the agency is looking at how to fund the startup costs internally, saying he