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The Georgia Senate voted to approve a bill on Friday that would give medical marijuana sufferers a legal avenue to receive their medicine. Under the bill, HB 324, a regulated program for developing, processing, and distributing cannabis oil would be established. Georgia’s healthcare marijuana plan only permits the use of cannabis oil with no far more than five percent THC by registered sufferers with 1 or far more of 16 qualifying significant healthcare circumstances. Nevertheless, present regulations do not enable for healthcare marijuana cultivation, processing, or sales, which leaves sufferers with no way to legally receive cannabis oil. The bill was authorized by the Georgia Property of Representatives earlier this month.

The Senate voted 44-eight to pass the measure on Friday, but only following important alterations had been produced by the Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Wednesday. Beneath the Senate version, only two cultivation licenses would be issued by the state, 1 for a massive operation and 1 for a modest grower, rather of the 10 licenses in the Property bill. Amendments also decreased the quantity of retail dispensaries for the state’s eight,400 registered sufferers from 60 to 10. The Senate’s amendments also would enable two universities to build cannabis study and manufacturing applications. One more modify produced by the Senate committee would build a commission to regulate the sourcing of cannabis oil from other states.

“That will be the quickest way — for sure— to get goods our citizens want,” mentioned Sen. Bill Cowsert.

Mom Seeks Help of Lawmakers

Prior to the bill was authorized by the committee on Wednesday, a tearful Shannon Cloud pleaded with senators for their help of the measure. Her 13-year-old daughter has a extreme kind of epilepsy identified as Dravet syndrome, which can lead to dozens or even hundreds of seizures per day.

“Every morning, when my daughter wakes up, I wait to see when I go into her space: is she going to be breathing or am I going to obtain her face down in her pillow?” Cloud mentioned. “If that 1 seizure can be prevented and that is the 1 that can take her life, then that is why we want access to this medicine.”

Rep. Micah Gravley, the bill’s sponsor in the Property, addressed issues that cannabis oil would nevertheless be illegal beneath federal law, saying the bill would send a message to residents of Georgia that “your state is going to give you immunity to treat your loved 1 with some thing you know operates when all the other prescriptions have not worked.”

Gravley emphasized that the bill “is not tied to legalizing recreational use for little ones and adults.”

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan apparently believes otherwise, on the other hand, saying following the vote that “there is no portion of me that desires any measures toward recreational marijuana.”

Sen. Matt Brass argued for passage of the bill, saying that it would enable households with sick kids to far more simply access cannabis oil.

“Some may possibly argue that this is not medicine,” Brass mentioned. “But we had testimony of kids possessing 80 to 100 seizures a day, but following taking the oil are possessing just 1 a week.”

HB 324 will now head back to the Property for consideration of the Senate’s amendments. To pass, each bodies will have to approve a compromise measure prior to the finish of the legislative session on Tuesday. Devoid of elaborating additional, Gravley mentioned that there are “many, numerous problems” with the Senate’s version of the bill.