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Senate Judiciary Committee approves revamped medical cannabis bill

CHARLESTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a revamped version of the medical cannabis bill, HB 4345, Thursday evening and sent it to the floor for passage.

HB 4345, as it came from the House, increased the number of available permits for growers and processors from a maximum of 10 to 50. It increased the number of dispensary permits from 30 to 165.

The Judiciary version increases the minimum number grower and processor permits to 20 and the dispensary permits to 100.

Unchanged from the House version, it also allows for what’s called vertical integration of the three businesses. This provision allows a single person or business to be a grower, processor and dispenser.

The Senate amendment also makes a number of other changes based on input from agencies and stakeholders, including the Tax Department. The text of the amendment was not available.

The bill passed on voice vote with just one nay. It was on second reading on the Senate floor Thursday evening. The full Senate will adopt the Judiciary amendment and send it to third reading for passage.