AP NEWS

W.Va. Senate passes banking fix to medical marijuana law

March 5, 2019

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Senate has passed a bill addressing banking services for the state’s medical marijuana program.

The Senate approved the bill 29-4 Tuesday. It now goes to the governor.

The bill would authorize the state to allow financial institutions, including credit unions, to bid on contracts to process fees and other transactions collected under the program.

Lawmakers approved the program two years ago, and it’s set to launch this summer.

The program had stalled over the question of banking services. Lawmakers have said banks have been hesitant about handling such transactions.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey issued an opinion in January that financial institutions face risks when providing such services because medical marijuana is illegal under federal law. Morrisey’s opinion said he’s unaware of any federal enforcement in states where medical marijuana is legal.