January 25, 2022

Volume XII, Number 25

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West Virginia Treasurer’s Office Tentatively Awards Medical Cannabis Banking Contract

On August 26, 2019, the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office (the “Office”) tentatively awarded the state’s medical cannabis banking and fee-processing services to Element Federal Credit Union (“Element”).  Element was one of four vendors vying to provide the various financial services necessary for the State’s Office of Medical Cannabis (the “OMC”) to implement West Virginia’s Medical Cannabis Act.

In March 2018, State Treasurer John Perdue informed the Governor, the respective leaders of the West Virginia Legislature, and various Cabinet officials that the Treasurer’s Office’s current banking vendors refused to process the permit application fees and other monies related to the State’s medical cannabis program. Without the ability to collect fees, the OMC was and currently remains unfunded.

During the 2019 legislative session, the West Virginia Legislature passed, and the Governor signed House Bill 2538, which provided the State Treasurer’s Office with the authority to competitively bid all banking and financial services relating to the State’s medical cannabis program.

It is important to note that the Office has only tentatively awarded the state’s medical cannabis banking contract to Element.  In accordance with the Office’s rules, each vendor has until September 3, 2019 to file a written protest to the Notice of Intent to Award.  Once the award is finalized, the Office will issue a formal Purchase Order to Element.  Thereafter, the Office and Element will promulgate interim guidance and regulations for the state’s medical cannabis banking and fee-processing services.

Once Element is ready to handle the state’s banking services for medical cannabis, the OMC will thereby obtain funding, and an avenue for the growing, processing, and dispensing of medical cannabis in West Virginia will become available.

© Steptoe & Johnson PLLC. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 240
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About this Author

Ryan Dunne Ewing Medical Cannabis Attorney Steptoe Johnson Law Firm
Associate

Ryan Dunne Ewing represents corporate medical cannabis growers, processors, and dispensaries within West Virginia. Ryan ensures prospective medical cannabis organizations comply with the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act and facilitates proper capital handling procedures under the Patriot and Bank Secrecy Acts.

Ryan’s practice also focuses on state and federal infrastructure development.  He regularly counsels both public and private utilities before the Public Service Commission of West Virginia, and he has experience with the funding and...

304-353-8186
Richard L. Lewis, Attorney, International Business, Steptoe & Johnson Law Firm
Member

Richard Lewis practices in the areas of domestic and international business law with a focus on environmental and energy-related legal matters. He represents clients before federal, state, and appellate courts and administrative agencies in civil, criminal, and penalty proceedings. In addition, he provides client counseling and advice in general business, permitting, compliance, and transactional matters.  Mr. Lewis is the former Chair of the firm's Business Department.

304-353-8133
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