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VA House passes bill to let doctors recommend cannabis oil as a medical treatment

RICHMOND, Va. – Cannabis advocates celebrated a victory in the Commonwealth Friday. 

The House of Delegates unanimously approved a bill to allow doctors to broadly recommend a form of medical marijuana to patients. The bill, HB 1251, would allow doctors to recommend marijuana or cannabis extracts, known as CBD oil or THC-A oil, to patients of their choosing. 

The state legislation passed in 2015 allowed the oils only for patients with "intractable epilepsy."

Republican Delegate Benjamin Cline sponsored the bill, saying it could help the Commonwealth start to find its way out of the opioid epidemic. 

"This is about ways to help patients in Virginia suffering from various symptoms and illnesses and hopefully keeping them off opioids as a pain management tool," said Cline, who represents the 24th District.

While you still can't possess the oil legally under federal law, this bill would allow a doctor's note to be used as a defense if someone is cited or fined. 

The Senate will consider a similar version to the bill next week. If it passes, it will head to the governor's desk.