Vote on Pa. medical marijuana unlikely until next year

     FILE - In this file photo, a woman loads an oral syringe with cannabis-infused oil used to treat her 4-year-old daughter who suffers from severe epilepsy, at their home in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Brennan Linsley/AP Photo, file)

    FILE - In this file photo, a woman loads an oral syringe with cannabis-infused oil used to treat her 4-year-old daughter who suffers from severe epilepsy, at their home in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Brennan Linsley/AP Photo, file)

    Pennsylvania House lawmakers plan to hold at least one hearing on medical marijuana, which will likely put off any final votes on legalization until next year.

    House GOP leaders say a Senate-backed plan to allow certain kinds of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania needs to be more thoroughly vetted before it’s lined up for a vote.

    “What exactly does it do? Do you guys know what it does?” said House GOP spokesman Steve Miskin, addressing reporters. “Do you know it sets up a whole new bureaucracy and industry?”

    Both Senate and House lawmakers have voiced concern about the plan to create a new state board tasked with setting rules for marijuana oil and liquid extracts, pills, and edible products. Under the bill, medical marijuana would be authorized, not prescribed, and only for certain conditions.

    Miskin said Tuesday that two committees will request testimony from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Drug Enforcement Agency, and others, on the possible consequences of the proposal sent over by the Senate. He did not provide a possible time frame for hearings.

    “There does need to be an education effort on the part of members as well as the public of exactly what this legislation does, and that’s going to take time,” said Miskin.

    The medical marijuana measure passed with overwhelming support in the Senate last month. Approval came after an intensive lobbying effort shouldered by parents who say marijuana oil extract could ease their children’s seizures.

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