More MSOs Move Into West Virginia's Medical Marijuana Market

Multistate operators control a majority of the licenses in the state.

As the medical cannabis industry in West Virginia begins to bear fruit, the state is finding more multistate tenants vying for a slice of the pie.

Canadian-based Heritage Cannabis Holdings (OTCQX: HERTF) said that has officially begun operations in the state alongside its production partner, Harvest Care Medical, after the state’s Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC) granted the cultivator a processing license.

Under the accord inked in August, the company supplies production equipment to Harvest Care in addition to providing training and supervising the extraction and manufacturing of its branded products. The company also said that the relationship will grant favorable shelf space for its products in Harvest Care’s West Virginia dispensaries.

“Our strategy takes advantage of early entry in markets that have near-term potential for recreational legalization, and with the recent comments from President Biden on a federal review of marijuana classification, we couldn’t be in a better position and are very excited for Heritage’s future,” Heritage CEO David Schwede said Monday in a statement.

“Our asset-light, capital efficient approach to our U.S. expansion adds another revenue stream to our consistent quarter-over-quarter growth we have seen since early 2021, and we see sizeable upside potential as we roll out more planned revenue streams in Canada and the U.S.”

Initial production on vape products and concentrates began before receiving the processing green light, the company said.

Florida-based Trulieve (OTCQX: TCNNF) as well as Illinois-based Verano Holdings (OTCQX: VRNOF) and Columbia Care (OTC: CCHWF) – now owned by Cresco Labs (OTC: CRLBF) – hold a majority of active licenses in the state, according to Cannabiz Media market data.

West Virginia Snapshot

The West Virginia medical market has been somewhat slow to materialize since its Medical Cannabis Act was signed into law in 2017. The state market was worth an estimated $1 million last year, data firm New Frontier told Green Market Report in an email.

The state has approved nearly 14,000 patients and supports approximately 2,000 jobs through direct and indirect employment as of Oct. 10, according to the state Office of Medical Cannabis.

State data also shows that the number of dispensaries operational in the Mountain State has doubled since June, though licenses reportedly are spread unevenly across communities. As of Oct. 10, only 36 of the 100 licensed dispensaries are open.

Additionally, state laws limits the type of qualifying conditions in order to access the program, many of which are either terminal or entail chronic pain.

The state has sold $16.6 million worth of products to patients since it saw its first legalized medical sale toward the end of last year.

Time should prove how the budding market benefits tax revenue and alters social dynamics in West Virgina, especially as many of its residents continue to reel from widening wealth inequality and a tragic heroin and fentanyl crisis stemming from the proliferation of opioid drugs in a state with high rates of industrial injuries.

Adam Jackson

Adam Jackson covers the cannabis industry for The Green Market Report. He previously covered the Missouri statehouse for The Columbia Missourian and has written for The Missouri Independent. He most recently covered retail, restaurants, and other consumer companies for Bloomberg Business News. You can find him on Twitter @adam_sjackson and email him at adam.jackson@crain.com.


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