This week the Georgia General Assembly passed a bill that would create a system for patients to purchase medical marijuana in the state. The legislation is expected to be signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp whenever it hits his desk, according to his spokesman.
Under the current system, medical marijuana is legal in Georgia, but patients have no legal methods available in the state to purchase it. Current state law prohibits the selling, buying, or transporting of cannabis. The bill passed by the Assembly, HB 324, would license private companies and universities to grow medical marijuana to be processed into low-THC cannabis oil.
In addition the bill would allow the state to license private companies and pharmacies to sell cannabis oil. However, the legislation would not allow the smoking or eating of marijuana, nor would it legalize recreational usage. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Gov. Kemp was institutional in helping broker a deal between the House and Senate and safeguarding any potential illegal distribution.
“Over the years, I’ve met with children who are battling chronic, debilitating diseases. I’ve heard from parents who are struggling with access and losing hope,” Gov. Kemp said. “This compromise legislation is carefully crafted to provide access to medical cannabis oil to those in need. This is simply the right thing to do.”
Those who apply for medical marijuana under the current system include patients with cancer, intractable pain, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, and more. Should the Gov. Kemp sign the new legislation as expected, Georgia would become the 34th state to have a medical marijuana program.