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West Virginia on Course for Medical Marijuana

Accepted submission by -- OriginalOwner_ http://tinyurl.com/OriginalOwner at 2017-04-11 04:04:36 from the baby-steps-toward-legal-weed dept.
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West Virginia MetroNews reported [wvmetronews.com] April 5

Legislation legalizing medical marijuana is one step closer to becoming law in West Virginia. The Senate Wednesday approved SB 386 [wvlegislature.gov] by a vote of 28-6 [wvlegislature.gov].[PDF]

However, the bill includes some technical changes made after the House passed the bill earlier this week. Both chambers have agreed to those "clean ups", which do not affect the substance of the bill. The House is expected to sign off on those details and the bill then goes to Governor Jim Justice.

The bill will make West Virginia the 29th state [sic] allowing the use of marijuana for the treatment of certain kinds of pain and illnesses with approval by a physician. Under the legislation, the marijuana would have to be taken in pill or liquid form. It does not allow for marijuana to be smoked or gown by the patient.

Governor Justice has said he's not opposed to medical marijuana.

NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws now adds [norml.org]

West Virginia legislators on Thursday [April 7] approved [wvgazettemail.com] a significantly amended version of Senate Bill 386, which seeks to establish a state-regulated medical cannabis program. The measure now awaits action from Democrat Gov. Jim Justice, who has previously expressed support for permitting qualified patients access cannabis therapy.

If signed into law, West Virginia will become the 30th state [norml.org] to authorize by statute the physicians-recommended use of cannabis or cannabis-infused products.

Under the amended measure [mpp.org], qualified patients will be permitted to obtain cannabis-infused oils, pills, tinctures, or creams from a limited number of state-authorized dispensaries. Cannabis-based medications will be produced by state-licensed growers and processors. Patients will not be permitted to grow their own cannabis, nor will they be able to legally access or smoke herbal formulations of the plant. Similar restrictive programs are presently in place in Minnesota [norml.org] and New York [norml.org] and are awaiting implementation in Louisiana [norml.org], Pennsylvania [norml.org], and Ohio [norml.org].

To participate in the proposed program, both patients and physicians would need to be registered with the state. Government officials are not mandated under the legislation to begin issuing patient identification cards until July 1, 2019.


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