AUGUSTA – A bill that would ease access to medical marijuana in Maine is one step closer to passage after the Maine Senate offered its approval today.

The measure, L.D. 1296, was sponsored by state Rep. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea. An amended version of the proposal would eliminate the requirement that patients register with the state, which was opposed by the Department of Health and Human Services during the bill’s public hearing.

The proposal makes changes to a lawmaker-approved version of legislation that began as a citizens’ initiative to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Maine.

The bill faces further votes in the House and Senate.