Pubdate: Tue, 23 Feb 2016
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)
Copyright: 2016 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Author: Laura Diaz


The author of legislation aimed at expanding the state's medical 
marijuana law said he won't continue to push for cultivation in 
Georgia this year after the bill ran into problems in committee Monday.

The House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee eliminated a provision in 
House Bill 722 that would have allowed limited cultivation and 
production of cannabis oil. The bill would also increase the number 
of diseases for which marijuana could be used.

Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, wasn't happy about the change.

"I can't come before you today without saying how disappointed I am 
that we're not moving forward with cultivation in this bill," Peake 
said. "That was the heart of the bill."

Peake said cultivation of medical marijuana would have benefited "a 
lot of families and citizens."

Lawmakers approved legislation last year that legalized cannabis oil 
for the treatment of eight disorders.

Since cultivation is not legal in Georgia, patients and their 
families have to travel out of state to purchase cannabis oil. This 
puts them at risk of federal drug possession charges.

The bill would have allowed for the creation of a maximum six 
private, state-licensed cultivators and producers of cannabis oil.

Last month, Gov. Nathan Deal created a special commission that 
recommended against establishing a Georgia-based manufacturing program.

Committee chairman Rep. Rich Golick, R-Smyrna, called "cultivation 
and for-profit production" of medical marijuana problematic.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom