SACRAMENTO, Calif. -

California would take steps to regulate the sale of medical marijuana under a bill approved by the state Senate.

The measure is intended to restrict dispensaries that federal prosecutors say had grown out of control in California, where voters first supported legalizing cannabis to treat illness in 1996.

Federal prosecutors recently cracked down. They said the industry had become enormously profitable and made marijuana essentially available for recreational use.

The bill makes it clear that dispensaries cannot operate at a profit but that the owners can receive reasonable compensation and expense reimbursement.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg says his bill, SB439, is intended to make marijuana available to those who really need it without violating federal law.

Senators sent the bill to the Assembly on a 22-12 vote Monday.