CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Senator Bob Beach (D – Monongalia, 13) said Thursday, if nothing else, passage of the Medical Cannabis Act in the West Virginia Senate was a major achievement.
“The Senator from Logan [Richard Ojeda] worked that particular piece of legislation very hard,” Beach said Thursday morning on “The Gary Bowden Show” on the AJR News Network. “And I commend him on it. He’s a freshman, and it’s a major piece of legislation in my mind.”
Now, much like his colleagues and constituents, Beach said he’ll be closely watching the House of Delegates to see if the Senate’s adopted legislation will be codified into state law.
“I think it will have an impact on our residents,” Beach said. “My inbox this morning before I got on the air with you is just full of thank you notes that we moved forward with allowing this to happen here in the State of West Virginia. So, let’s see what the House does with it.”
Beach recognized the reality, though. He said the legislation’s fate lies with Speaker of the House Tim Armstead (R – Kanawha, 40).
“If he allows it to fly then that bill fails right out of the door, and we know that coming into it,” Beach said.
The House of Delegates rejected a proposed medical marijuana amendment in a 35-64 vote earlier in the session.
Senate Bill 386, also known as the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, passed in the Senate in a 28-6 vote Wednesday.
The bill would create a state cannabis commission to begin the process of regulating the use of medicinal marijuana for qualified patients. Additionally, registered physicians would be allowed to prescribe marijuana for patients suffering from a list of conditions, including chronic diseases, muscle spasms and seizures.
Beach co-sponsored the bill with seven Democrats and three Republicans. The lead sponsor is freshman senator Richard Ojeda (D – Logan, 07).