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Va. bill that would give doctors power to prescribe cannabis oil heads to Gov. Northam

In this Monday, April 17, 2017 photo, Various cannabis oil products are displayed in the office of Georgia State Rep. Allen Peake, R - Macon, in Macon, Ga. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) -- The Virginia Senate has passed a bill that would allow doctors greater power to prescribe cannabis oil to patients in need.

Both SB 726 and HB 1251 would give Virginia doctors the option to prescribe cannabis oil to patients for "any diagnosed condition or disease determined by the practitioner to benefit from such use."

The bill now heads to Gov. Ralph Northam's desk, who as a pediatrician, said previously he supports expanding the use of legal marijuana.

In 2017, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed legislation for patients with severe forms of epilepsy to use cannabis oil to alleviate symptoms.

An OBGYN and senator serving in Henrico County, said medical researchers continue to find new uses for medical marijuana and as that research continues to evolve, she believes Virginia physicians, not lawmakers, should be the gatekeepers to determine who would and would not benefit from cannabis oil.

Both the House and Senate versions of the legislation have passed through committee.

Critics of cannabis oils argue there has not been enough research into side effects the prove using the oils over the long term is safe and that its medicinal effectiveness is over blown.

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