ATLANTA, GA — Late in the evening of April 2, the Georgia Legislature approved a bill that would allow for the in-state cultivation and production of medical cannabis.
The bill passed by a vote of 147-16 in the House and 34-20 in the Senate.
The bill still limits the amount of THC content that patients can possess, but allows in-state facilities to produce medicine. This marks a significant change from previous policy, where medical cannabis patients had to cross state lines to obtain their medical cannabis products.
“We applaud the efforts of Georgia advocates and patients in securing this victory. Having means to access cannabis in-state greatly improves the efficacy of medical cannabis programs “ said Steph Sherer, President and Founder of Americans for Safe Access. “However, like all state-based legislative proposals, this bill is not without problems and further highlights the need for uniform action from the Federal government to resolve the daily conflict that medical cannabis patients face.”
The bill creates a Medical Cannabis Commission, a low-THC distribution and production network, and testing standards, provides for university research, and allows for patients to purchase up to twenty fluid ounces of low-THC oil, revising the previous law that only allowed possession. The bill also calls for equity in any potential distribution and cultivation industries, ensuring that minorities, women, and veteran-owned businesses will be well represented.
“After five years of hard work and many disappointing sessions, we were finally able to pass an in-state cultivation and distribution bill” said Sebastien Cotte, ASA Member and Co-Founder of Georgia’s Hope. “It took a lot of work by so many people, but we are very excited to finally have created a pathway for Georgia patients to obtain their medical cannabis oil here at home and stop having to break federal laws by bringing medicine across state lines.”
Georgia is poised to become one of the first states in the southeast with an in-state distribution and cultivation system for low-THC cannabis oil. The bill now heads to the desk of Governor Brian Kemp, who is expected to sign the legislation into law without opposition.
You can read the full text of the bill here.