New Concerns About Medical Marijuana in WV

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) - The West Virginia Legislative Session ended Saturday Night at midnight, but the debate goes on.  The House never did get to vote on a Senate amendment to the medical marijuana law.  Some believe it was deliberate.

"You know the opponents of this legislation chose a backdoor way to veto the entire program. And to me it was shameful that the clerk's office couldn't bring the bill to the floor. And that's what happened," said  Del. Mike Pushkin, (D) Kanawha.

The Speaker's Office says there was simply not enough time for the clerk's office to analyze and prepare the bill before midnight. Republican leaders also had other concerns.

"There's been an expansion upon the number of dispensaries. There's been the addition of language at different points throughout the process about dry leaf products," State Sen. Ryan Ferns, (R) Ohio - Majority Leader.

And now there's another issue. Banks that collect money for the state of West Virginia are concerned about possible threats of federal litigation.

"They are concerned because of the most recent guidance by the Department of Justice, that there will be essentially enforcement of all federal marijuana laws. And they are concerned that if those are fully implemented, that they have a lot of liability there," said Josh Stowers, Asst. WV State Treasurer. 

That brought a call for a Special Session.

"Some of the issues, the banking issues that go along with this act, could be addressed in one day. So I would suggest that the Governor calls us back in," said Del. Mike Pushkin, (D) Kanawha.  

"The Governor told me Saturday night that he's not inclined to call special sessions this year on any issue, let alone medical marijuana. We'll see if that changes in the coming weeks," said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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