Marijuana dispensaries on the ropes?

Three Senators on a rules committee blocked a marijuana dispensaries bill from going to the Senate floor on Thursday, bringing into question  — at least for now – the fate of legislation that some people thought would cruise through the Senate.

The five-member Senate Rules Committee voted 3-2 in favor of holding up the progress of the bill.

But it doesn't mean the pot bill is extinguished.

According to Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell, the committee is expected to meet again this afternoon at 4 p.m. to hear from Sen. Jeanette White, a sponsor of the bill and the chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Government Operations.

Campbell and other senators on the rules committee think the legislation has a good chance of passing through the committee this afternoon.

If not, the bill could be in danger of failing this year.

"If we have a similar vote at 4 o'clock today the bill may be in trouble," said Campbell.

Senators Dick Mazza, Bill Doyle and Kevin Mullin voted against allowing the bill to immediately go to the Senate floor.

The reason they were faced with the decision is that the marijuana bill failed to pass out of committees soon enough. It's common for bills to not meet the "crossover" deadline, and the Senate Rules Committee allowed other legisalation that did not meet crossover to go to the floor Thursday.

The marijuna dispensaries legislation would allow Vermont to have two nonprofit dispensaries where people with medical marijuana cards would buy the drug.