There's one final step remaining for medical marijuana to become legal in West Virginia. The West Virginia Senate has passed a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients and would establish a system to regulate medical marijuana within the state.
Gov. Jim Justice says he's extending the legislative session through Sunday to give lawmakers additional time to pass a budget.
Under the bill, the state would allow 15 growers to cultivate cannabis and 60 dispensaries would be given licenses to sell the plant and various marijuana-based products.
The 60-day regular session of the Legislature was extended by one day by Gov. Jim Justice for the sole goal of lawmakers focusing on issues today pertaining to the passage of the budget.
For the month of March, general revenue fund collections were $331.5 million, $26.3 million above the original budget estimate.
Earlier that day, Carmichael said House and Senate leadership were working through a $180 million gap between both chambers' budgets and they were looking at splitting the difference.
The bill would call for a 4.5 cent increase on the gas tax, as well as a 1 percent increase on the consumer sales tax, according to Justice during the news conference.
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The release says Justice made an announcement about the veto at Independence Hall in Wheeling.
Justice and the Republican-controlled Legislature have disagreed over the 2018 budget.
"We're going to shoot down this nonsense", Justice said.
According to Justice, the potential budget agreement included a 1 percent increase in the sales tax, linked to a tiered plan to lower income tax rates, as well as a previously proposed 0.045 percent gross receipts tax on businesses, and surcharges for West Virginians with incomes of $200,000 or more.
The House approved a spending plan with fewer overall cuts, taking almost 6 percent from higher education. Justice said the basis of the right to work legislation was being adjudicated in Kanawha County.
The West Virginia Legislature website also notes SB 199 passed in the Senate by a 20-14 vote Wednesday.
At midnight we are "getting this shoved down our throats", he said.