The Georgia General Assembly passed a bill on Tuesday that will allow medical marijuana sales.
The legislation, House Bill 324, licenses private companies and universities to develop medical marijuana while pharmacies and potentially dispensaries could sell it into the state’s 8,400 documented medical marijuana patients.
Progress Not Perfection
While this is a big step in progression for the heavily conservative state of Georgia, things are far from perfect.
Georgia legalized medical marijuana intake in 2015 for patients suffering from severe seizures, fatal cancers and other disorders, but the government didn’t provide any means for them to purchase it. It remains against the law to buy, sell or transport medical marijuana oil.
Under the bill, up to six private companies are licensed to raise and manufacture medical marijuana oil. Furthermore, two universities can begin medical marijuana programs. Pharmacies would initially be able to sell the medication, and a state oversight board will have the ability to allow private dispensaries.
Smoking or eating marijuana could remain illegal.
“For the last five years, our patients within this state have been traveling from state. They have been violating federal legislation,” said state Rep. Micah Bradley, a Republican from Douglasville. “The compromise we have reached that the goal of getting secure access for those taxpayers in this nation.”
Opponents of this proposal said they feared it sets up a distribution system that could cause the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes.
“Many people understand this for what it’s. “This is the step where you open the floodgates and you’re creating the infrastructure for this industry.”
HB 324 would make Georgia the 34th country to allow some sort of marijuana farming.