W.Va. Senate passes bill to allow medical marijuana for some patients

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Senate advanced a bill Thursday that would allow some patients access to medical marijuana under certain circumstances.

Senate Bill 386 was approved by a 28-6 vote, with Republicans Mike Azinger of Wood County and Donna Boley of Pleasants County among those voting against the measure.

The proposal would create a 16-member panel to oversee the program and issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. The panel would include medical professionals, law-enforcement officials and government agency representatives.

The bill also would license plant growers, processors and dispensaries for products containing cannabis including food, tinctures, aerosols, oils or ointments.

The bill will now be considered in the West Virginia House of Delegates.

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, West Virginia is one of only six states that has not adopted any form of medical-marijuana law.

The organization says 28 states have enacted laws that it considers effective, while 16 other states have laws that it calls unworkable or too restrictive.

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