Medical cannabis expansion gets approval from advocates in Georgia

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Just last year, Gov. Nathan Deal opted to broaden the State of Georgia’s medical cannabis program by signing into the Senate Bill 16.

Under this new ruling, an additional six conditions were approved for treatment using a specific amount of cannabis oil. 

Those conditions are as follows:

  1. Autism
  2. AIDS
  3. Alzheimer’s
  4. Epidermolysis Bullosa
  5. Tourette’s syndrome
  6. Peripheral Neuropathy

Back in 2015 (before Deal signed Senate Bill 16,) illnesses like cancer could be treated using cannabis oil, but no more than 20 ounces was permitted.

“My hope is that in 2018 we can fill the gaping hole that still remains, and provide legal access to medical cannabis oil here in our state with a safe, lab tested product produced within our own borders,” state Rep. Allen Peake said in a discussion.

As the author of the House version, Peake is an important person in this story; one that vows to provide Georgians with a “better quality of life.”

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What does medical cannabis expansion in Georgia entail?

Legislative members came to an understanding to sign into a law for medical cannabis expansion in Georgia, which may grant medical cannabis users the chance to grow their own plants in-state. This is according to legislation filed in the state House.

A maximum of 5 percent THC can be contained in a patient’s medical cannabis oil, despite State senators attempting to lower the percentage to 3 percent. Since there were no reported problems with oils that have increased potency, the idea was overlooked.

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The latest ruling prohibits in-state cannabis cultivation for medicinal purposes. There may also be restrictions on product shipping.

However, the 2018 ballot will include a question for voters to decide if the law should allow the cultivation and distribution of the leafy plant for medicinal reasons.

At least two-thirds acceptance must be earned from the House and Senate in order to grant the Senate Bill 16.

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What does House Bill 645 have to do with medical cannabis expansion in Georgia?

Macon Republican state Rep. Allen Peake is pushing for state-issued licenses that will enable medical cannabis patients to grow their own plants and extract oils from the plant matter.

“What we’ve attempted to do in House Bill 645 is do what 30 other states have done, which is enact infrastructure for growing of marijuana for medicinal purposes only,” explained Peake.

Sent by the House Medical Cannabis Working Group to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, House Bill 645 could propel an entire floor vote, should the committee approve.

If patients become legally capable of cultivating their own crops and producing oil, not only would they have easier access to medicinal liquids but also, those Georgians wouldn’t have to order oil from states with less-restrictive cannabis laws, such as Colorado.

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