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House Group Readies Report On Medical Marijuana

A group of state House lawmakers tasked with finding a way “get to yes” on medical marijuana legalization is winding down its work. A spokeswoman for Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) said recommendations would be delivered to GOP House Majority Leader Dave Reed in the next few weeks.

The House GOP’s working group was pulled together after a medical cannabis legalization measure passed the state Senate in May.

The plan would let doctors and nurse practitioners recommend different forms of marijuana for various ailments. It ran into early opposition in the House, where members have voiced concern about regulations and preventing recreational use.

“We’re doing something that there is a system already set up to do ... the FDA,” said Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford), who is part of the working group. He suspects he was given a seat to represent fellow skeptics of legalization proposals, he said.

“It’s not just as simple as saying, ‘We need to let doctors prescribe this stuff,’” said Topper. “I mean, how is it grown? Where is it grown? How many dispensaries would there need to be? And it’s an all-cash business, how do we address that? So those are some of the many complex issues that this group has tried to work through.”