May 28—MORGANTOWN — More weed shops than Sheetz.
More marijuana merchants than McDonald’s.
Monongalia County Board of Health Chairman Sam Chico offered some perspective Thursday as the board unanimously approved a set of local regulations governing medical cannabis dispensaries.
Of the 100 dispensary permits granted by the West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis, 14 are in Monongalia County. That’s tied for tops in the state with Kanawha County.
With a population of 106, 000, Monongalia County would have one dispensary for every 7, 571 people if all 14 set up shop.
“We have six McDonald’s in our entire county, and I have yet in my life hear anyone complain that they don’t have access to a McDonald’s. Yet we’re going to have the potential to have 14 medical marijuana dispensaries, ” Chico said, noting 11 of those dispensary permits are in Morgantown.
For a broader perspective, West Virginia has a population of 1.7 million people. If all 100 of the state-approved dispensaries open, that’s one dispensary for every 17, 000 residents.
By way of comparison, Pennsylvania—with a population around 13 million—started with 50 dispensaries in 2016 and has since expanded to 88, or about one dispensary for every 148, 000 residents.
Chico said he fears the glut of