Medical Cannabis Bill Passes Georgia House
HB 1, sponsored by State Representative Allen Peake (R-Macon), would decriminalize the possession of certain medical cannabis oils in Georgia.
“Today, we have passed a bill that will begin to reunite families who have been torn apart in their pursuit of medical treatment,” State Rep. Peake said in a statement.
“When I began this journey, I made a promise to bring those families home and to give Georgians a chance to obtain medical cannabis oil in our state without fear of prosecution. I thank my colleagues in the House for their support and Governor Deal for his leadership as we worked toward today’s vote,” Peake said.
“I congratulate Rep. Peake on the passage of Haleigh’s Hope Act, the medical cannabis oil bill, that will bring relief to Georgia families with loved ones suffering from seizures and other illnesses,” Speaker of the House David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) said in a statement.
“Rep. Peake passionately pursued his goal of helping others while listening to all involved stakeholders and working collaboratively to arrive at the legislation passed today,” Ralston said.
HB 1 would provide immunity for the possession of cannabis oil for individuals with certain medical conditions who have obtained cannabis oil legally in another state.
Qualifying conditions under HB 1 include Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Seizure disorders, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, mitochondrial disease, sickle cell disease, and Fibromyalgia.
State Rep. Gloria Frazier (D- Hephzibah) was instrumental in working with Peake to include sickle cell anemia in the legislation. Sickle cell anemia affects approximately 7,800 Georgians each year, almost all of which are citizens of color.
“As more and more states adopt similar legislation, I am thrilled to see the bi-partisan support HB 1 received in the Georgia House of Representatives. I have supported this legislation since the beginning and was pleased to work with Rep. Peake to include sickle cell anemia, as this has been a cause that I have followed closely,” Rep. Frazier said in a statement.
The registered individuals would only be allowed to possess cannabis oil with a maximum of 5 percent THC and a maximum amount of 20 fluid ounces of cannabis oil.
HB 1 would also require that potential patients register with the Georgia Department of Public Health and be placed on the “Low-THC Oil Patient Registry.” These individuals will receive a registration card that exempts them from prosecution in Georgia for possession of medical cannabis oil that has been legally obtained in another state and meets the aforementioned requirements.
The bill also creates the Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis, which will be charged with making a recommendation for the potential regulatory infrastructure for creation of in-state growth/distribution model of medical cannabis.
The commission must make its recommendation to the Governor and General Assembly by December 2015.
The members of the commission will include the director of the Governor’s Office for Children and Families, the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the director of the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency, the commissioner of agriculture, the Governor’s executive counsel, members of the General Assembly, medical professionals, law enforcement officials, and pharmacists.
HB 1 will now go to the State Senate for consideration.