Amid backdrop of patients and their families in Georgia who have been regularly breaking the law to obtain low-potency medical marijuana oil, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed a legislation on today that will soon allow patients legally buy the drug they are already allowed to possess.
Kemp said that this is a “carefully crafted, balanced” measure, and it would expand access for patients in genuine need without opening the door to recreational drug use.
“Instead of breaking so many laws and crossing the state lines in the process, these families can now stay in our state as we are ensuring that these families can purchase what works for the patients in their family without creating a slippery slope,” he said.
The legislation allows the in-state production and sale of marijuana oil and closes a loophole in a 4 year old law that banned growing, buying as well as selling the drug but allowed only certain patients to possess it.
The state law in place currently allows people with 16 specific conditions, including seizure disorders, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease, to possess cannabis oil that too with less than 5 percent THC, the chemical which gives users a high.
Cody Hall, Kemp’s spokesman, said that the law takes effect July 1.
The new law would grant up to six growing licenses to private companies, two for larger organizations and four for the smaller ones. It also gives pharmacies the priority for distributing the drug, but allows a state commission to seek out independent retail locations if needed. The commission can also attempt to obtain the oil from other states legally. Two universities will be given the permission to seek federal approval to research and produce the oil.