By Steve Elliott of Toke of the Town
Vermont's medical marijuana dispensary bill survived a close call in the Senate Rules Committee on Thursday.
The bill, S. 17, which would allow up to four medicinal cannabis dispensaries in Vermont, was expected to be debated on the Senate floor this week, reports Terri Hallenbeck at the Burlington Free Press. But first, it had to make it through the Senate Rules Committee, because it didn't meet the deadline for bills coming out of Senate committees.
"The Senate is being a little stricter with that rule this year," Hallenbeck reports.
"It looked this morning like the bill might be killed by the rules committee," Hallenback writes. Sen. Dick Mazza (D-Grand Isle/Crittenden), a member of the committee, is among those who don't like the idea of legalizing marijuana dispensaries.
A Senate Rules Committee meeting was scheduled for Thursday afternoon to allow senators involved with S. 17 to make their cases. Senate Government Operations Committee Chairwoman Jeanette White (D-Windham) said the bill made it out of her committee by the first deadline, but was delayed in the Finance Committee to give the Public Safety commissioner time to figure out what the fees needed to be to cover his costs.
The committee bought that argument, voting 5-0 to allow the bill to go on to the full Senate floor.
The Rules Committee's job is not to consider the merits of the bill, but the process, according to Mazza.
The bill is expected to hit the Senate floor next Tuesday, April 12.
Article From Toke of the Town and used with special permission.