Medical marijuana deal struck by House, Senate

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota lawmakers have a deal on a medical marijuana bill that would set up eight distribution sites and allow qualified patients to access the drug in oil, pill and vapor form.

The agreement announced Thursday was crafted to suit concerns of Gov. Mark Dayton, who backs it.

RELATED LINK:Who qualifies? What are the rules?

"This bill is citizen government at its best. It has been led by parents, who deeply love their children, are anguished by their pain, and insist their government try to help them," Dayton said in a written statement. "As a father and grandfather, I both understand and admire their devotion."

The compromise bridges differences between a restrictive House bill and a relatively expansive Senate bill. Under the agreement, two manufacturers would be able to grow the drugs and run a total of eight distribution centers.

Leaf or plant form of marijuana wouldn't be accessible. Smoking the drug wouldn't be permitted.

It represents the culmination of a years-long effort by advocates to make the medical use of marijuana legal in Minnesota. Twenty-one other states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana.


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