The state of Georgia is not one we hear about often when it comes to marijuana – but we will probably be seeing a lot more of them in the future as they are looking to expand their extremely limited medical marijuana law known as the Haleigh’s Hope Act.
As of right now, Georgia is in a situation very similar to the one happening here in Florida with Charlotte’s Web. They allow only strains which are low-THC, high-CBD, which is beneficial only to a limited portion of patients who could benefit from medical marijuana.
The biggest flaw with the current law in Georgia is the fact that while it is legal for patients to possess high-CBD cannabis oil there is no legal way for them to obtain it. It is still illegal to grow and sell cannabis as well as producing the oil extract.
This leaves patients with very few options – going to someone who is growing and processing the oil illegally, traveling to a nearby state where the sale of marijuana or medical marijuana is legal or growing the plants and extracting the oil themselves.
Unfortunately this is how it is for now – and because of the small number (around 400) of people who applied for the cannabis patient cards they did not see the need to expand right away.
Thankfully it seems that this is finally being addressed – and the legislation was filed earlier this week. Even better, it has the approval of House Speaker David Ralston.
“This bill is the next step,” Ralston told reporters this week.
This expansion would allow a minimum of two and a maximum of six manufacturers of cannabis oil in the state. These manufacturers would be in charge of everything from cultivation to processing and distrusting the oil products.
It would also get rid of the cap on THC content, meaning oils could be produced from high-THC content marijuana for conditions that are not treated well with CBD alone; along with that will come an extended list of qualifying conditions.
Currently the conditions that qualify for use of cannabis oil in Georgia are seizure disorders, cancer, sickle cell anemia, Crohn’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), mitochondrial disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
If the proposed bill passes the conditions list would include glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Tourette’s syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), intractable pain, autism and Alzheimer’s disease.
Overall, this is exactly what Georgia needs – and it reminds me a lot of the direction things are going with the Charlotte’s Web law here in Florida and the hopes many have for expanding it.