Georgia Medical Cannabis Bill Passes Senate Committee

Georgia Medical Cannabis Bill Passes Senate Committee

A bill that will allow the distribution and sales of medical marijuana oil in Georgia was approved by an important committee voting on Wednesday.

This comes at the cost of major reductions to the amount of dispensaries and growers allowed in the state.

The state House had approved the previous version of the bill earlier this month without the revisions. The Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee supported the legislation under revised conditions. They are allowing the distribution of marijuana through a maximum of 10 dispensaries. The previous amount that was proposed was 60. As a revision of proposed 10 licensed growers in the state, there will only be a total of 2 licensed growers in Georgia.

Patients that are suffering from cancers, seizures, severe pain, or other ailments have had access to medical marijuana oil since 2015. Georgia’s current medical marijuana program allows patients to use cannabis oil with a low THC level of 5 percent. THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis. The program does not allow patients to smoke or vaporize medical oil.

Jules Murphy, who has multiple sclerosis, said at the Georgia Capital, “We do need in-state access to the cannabis oils, and most importantly, that it be safe, with cultivation and distribution in-state without complications.”

Some patients who use medical marijuana oil have obtained it illegally because of Georgia’s state law prohibiting the purchasing of it. Cannabis has been proven to provide alternative medicine to help conditions where synthetic drugs fail.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, over 8,400 people are registered in the state to consume the cannabis oil. House Bill 324 is anticipated to provide the access of medical marijuana to patients who are approved to use it but don’t have a legal way of buying it.

Senators are responding to the demand of the suffering patients in their state but are not looking to get things twisted in the marijuana industry. They said that they don’t want to create a large marijuana market within the state, where it would lead to the legalization of recreational consumption.

Republican Senator Bill Cowsert stated, “It’s for a very narrow subset of patients who are suffering from illnesses and diseases,” following with, “The original distribution system seemed overly broad for such a small number of patients. It seemed like overkill as far as supply.”

A parent who gives oil to his autistic son, Dale Jackson, said that he’s glad that the legislation advanced but is concerned for the limited access it might cause. “The long-term solution is the free-market solution with private licenses,” said Jackson.

The limitations in the bill seemed to soothe sheriffs that were against the expansion of medical marijuana in the state. The executive director of Georgia’s Sheriffs’ Association, Terry Norris, said that he will recommend sheriffs to not be in opposition to the bill.

The next step in the legislation would be the state Senate. If it receives a majority vote, then it would amend the bill. The bill would have to return to the state House for further consideration. But the previous version of the bill containing 60 dispensaries and 10 growers had been approved from the house so things could be looking good for the long journey of this bill.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Let Us Know in The Comment Section Below!

smith johnsonComment