By Anthony Martinelli

West Virginia’s full House of Delegates has given approval to an amended medical marijuana legalization bill.

An amended version of Senate Bill 386 was passed today through its third and final reading in the House of Delegates; the vote was 76 to 24. The measure recently passed the full Senate with a 28 to 6 vote, but with much different language. Given it was amended in the House, it will need to be sent back to the Senate (potentially a conference committee) before it can be placed on the desk of Governor Jim Justice, who is in support of legalizing medical marijuana.

The proposed law allows those with a recommendation from a physician who register with the state to possess and use marijuana medicines such as pill and topicals, and purchase them from a licensed dispensary. However, the House amended the Senate bill to prohibit smoking, and to severely limit the number of dispensaries allowed to operate throughout the state.

The vote to amend the bill to prohibit smoking and limit dispensaries was 51 to 48. An amendment to the amendment in the bill’s second reading to again allow smoking was voted down 46 to 51.

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