PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island’s Senate has approved a bill permitting up to three nonprofit stores to sell marijuana to chronically ill patients registered with the state.

A spokesman for Senate President Joseph Montalbano says the proposal passed Thursday 29-6. It now heads to House lawmakers.

Sen. Rhoda Perry, the bill’s sponsor, has said the proposal fixes a loophole in Rhode Island’s medical marijuana program.

State lawmakers voted in 2006 to allow chronically ill patients and their caregivers to possess small amounts of marijuana for pain relief. But they never made clear how patients were supposed to buy the drug. It remains illegal under federal law.

More than 700 patients and caregivers are enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program.

AP-ES-05-15-08 1720EDT

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.