Medical marijuana bill heads to WV Gov. Justice

The West Virginia House of Delegates has accepted minor, technical changes the state Senate made Wednesday to a bill permitting doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients and establishing a regulatory system in the state.

Thursday, during an evening floor session, the House of Delegates concurred with technical changes, including a title amendment. They voted 74-24 to pass the bill.

The bill now goes to Gov. Jim Justice — who has said he is open to medical marijuana — to sign or veto. If Justice signs the bill, West Virginia will become the 29th state with a comprehensive medical marijuana program.

Some proponents of medical marijuana legislation have criticized the current bill, which gives oversight to the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health, because it bans smoking medicinal marijuana, prohibits patients from growing their own plants and sets hefty fees for growers, dispensaries and processors.

But the bill’s champions in both the House and Senate have said the bill represents a good first step.

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