Medical marijuana bill sponsor to push for expanded measures

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Despite protestations from Gov. Nathan Deal and others, the sponsor of the medical marijuana bill will advocate an expansion of the law during the upcoming legislative session.
State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) will pre-file legislation next week allowing marijuana to be grown in Georgia and used to produce cannabis oil for treating patients with seizure disorders, sickle cell anemia and other diseases. The 2016 General Assembly session starts Jan. 11.
This past spring, lawmakers finally approved a bill enabling the possession of cannabis oil for dire medical purposes only. That required the individual or family to possess an authorization from a doctor and a registration card issued by the state.
The law, however, does not allow the growing marijuana or processing the oil derived from the plant into a drug. Peake said his bill would model the system set up in Minnesota, which limits the production of cannabis oil to two licensees. The legislation would limit use of the drug to treatment of the same diseases specified in this year’s bill: epilepsy and other seizure disorders, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, mitochondrial disease, Parkinson’s disease, sickle cell anemia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Like the Minnesota law, the measure also would require the presence of a licensed pharmacist at every distribution point for cannabis oil, Peake said.

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