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Senate approves medical marijuana framework bill


The Herald-Dispatch

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Senate approved a bill Wednesday evening that would establish the framework for medical marijuana to become available in West Virginia.

The Senate approved Senate Bill 386, the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, by a 28-6 margin at 8:20 p.m.

The bill was the last bill passed by senators on crossover day, the deadline for a bill to be approved in its chamber of origin.

The bill establishes the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Commission, which will be responsible for setting the requirements to phase medical marijuana into the state, including certification and applications for physicians to become eligible to prescribe medical marijuana.

The board also would establish standards, licensing processes, databases for medical marijuana dispensaries, physicians and cultivators.

The board wouldn’t make its first report to the legislature until September 2018, and the process of growing, prescribing and distributing medical marijuana would be contingent on the report.

The bill outlines what medical conditions would be treatable under state code if the bill becomes law.

Medical conditions for which people could be prescribed marijuana include end-of-life or hospice care; a chronic disease or condition that produces cachexia, anorexia or wasting syndrome; severe or chronic pain that isn’t relieved through standard pain medication; severe nausea; seizures; severe or persistent muscle spasms; refractory generalized anxiety disorder; and post-traumatic stress disorder.

All senators representing portions of Cabell and Wayne counties supported the bill.

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