A bill that would allow physicians to broadly prescribe a form of medical marijuana received preliminary approval in the Virginia House of Delegates on Thursday and seems likely to become law, its sponsors say, after years of failed attempts.
The legislation, HB 1251, would permit the use of non-hallucinogenic marijuana or cannabis extracts known as cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil to treat any diagnosed condition or disease. Scientific studies indicate that the oils can reduce nausea and alleviate pain, and also may slow the growth of and kill some cancer cells.
After a final vote in the House on Friday, the legislation would move to the Senate, where sponsors of the House bill say it also has strong support.
“This allows another option for residents of Virginia, and it does provide some assistance for pain management and may give people an alternative to . . . opioids,” said Del. Benjamin L. Cline (R-Rockbridge), the chief sponsor of the House bill.
Similar bills have failed for years in the state legislature, although a more narrow statute passed in 2015 allows Virginians