Wisconsin Senate GOP leader says state-run medical marijuana dispensaries are a ‘nonstarter’ – The Associated Press

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 Thursday.

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 this week 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 signed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, before

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