LeMahieu says state-run medical marijuana dispensaries for Wisconsin are a ‘nonstarter’ – PBS Wisconsin

By Scott Bauer, AP

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Having state-run dispensaries for medical marijuana in Wisconsin as proposed by Assembly Republicans is a “nonstarter” in the Senate, but there’s still the possibility of reaching a compromise that could pass, the Senate GOP leader said Jan. 11.

Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said at a WisPolitics.com event that the “challenge” for the Assembly bill is that many GOP senators are opposed to having the state operate the dispensaries.

“It’s a nonstarter for a lot of our caucus members,” LeMahieu said. “Why would we let government grow the size of government?”

The highly restrictive bill unveiled Jan. 8 by Assembly Republicans would limit medical marijuana only to severely ill people with chronic diseases such as cancer and allow for it to be dispensed at just five state-run locations. Smokable marijuana would not be allowed.

LeMahieu said creating a new office within the Department of Health Services to handle medical marijuana “seems like overkill.”

Still, LeMahieu didn’t rule out the possibility of reaching a compromise that could result in legalizing medical marijuana.

“I think there could be a way to do it,” he said.

The measure must pass the Senate and Assembly, and be

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