New Bill Introduced to Legalize Medical Marijuana—Not Just Low THC Oil—in Georgia
Georgia lawmakers recognized some medical benefits of cannabis in 2015. However, the scope of Georgia’s current medical marijuana laws is extremely limited. Qualifying patients can currently possess no more than 20 ounces of low THC oil, but this may soon change thanks to a new bill introduced by Georgia State Representative Pedro Marin.
Georgia Marijuana Card can help you through every step of Georgia’s medical marijuana card registration progress. Meanwhile, we’re also a top resource for the state’s latest cannabis news. Read on for the latest on Georgia’s steps toward a more comprehensive medical program.
How would the new bill change Georgia’s existing medical marijuana policies?
Representative Marin introduced House Bill 738 to expand Georgia’s existing medical marijuana program. The new bill would allow qualifying patients to possess cannabis with over 5 percent of the top psychoactive cannabinoid delta 9 THC.
This change would give Georgia a fully functional medical marijuana program.
Currently, Georgia residents are only allowed to possess up to 20 ounces of high CBD, low THC medical-grade cannabis oil. While this is a boon to the treatment of some medical conditions, delta 9 THC offers unique physical and psychological benefits that can’t be attained through Georgia’s low THC oil alone.
Marin says his motivation for introducing the bill is to provide his constituents with more effective and dynamic treatment options for a wider range of conditions.
In addition to allowing delta 9 THC to be used medically, the new bill would potentially expand the eligible conditions to include:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Sickle cell disease
Autism spectrum disorder
Systemic lupus erythematosus
Discoid cutaneous lupus
When will the new bill go into effect?
In order for a bill to become a law in Georgia, it must go to a committee for discussion and then pass within both the state House and state Senate prior to being signed by the governor.
This can be a lengthy process, and Representative Marin anticipates it to take at least one year. He also acknowledges that the final bill may differ from the one he introduced this month.
According to AllOnGeorgia, Representative Marin plans to lead a series of public talks that will allow community members to express support and concern about the new medical marijuana bill.
Will medical marijuana be available in Georgia dispensaries if the new bill passes?
When Governor Nathan Deal signed Haleigh’s Hope Act in 2015, it legalized possession of low THC cannabis oil, but it provided no way to legally manufacture or distribute the oil within the state.
Deal’s predecessor, Governor Brian Kemp, rectified this issue in 2019 when he signed the Georgia’s Hope Act to allow for the in-state cultivation, distribution, and sale of medical cannabis oil. Since then, the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Coalition (GMCC) has been actively developing licensing procedures. Applications for first and second tier cannabis production opened in November 2020 and closed on January 27, 2021
The GMCC estimates that in-state dispensaries and production facilities will be operational within the next year, and the newly introduced House Bill 738 addresses this. In addition to allowing for possession of medical marijuana with over 5 percent delta 9 THC, the bill also includes guidelines for establishing in-state production and distribution.
As a result, dispensaries would be authorized to sell products with over 5 percent delta 9 THC, once the new bill is signed into law and goes into effect.
Should I wait until the new bill passes to register for my official Georgia medical marijuana card?
There are many advantages to going ahead and registering for your Georgia medical marijuana card now.
First of all, having a medical card means you can go ahead and safely possess up to 20 ounces of low THC cannabis oil.
Second, it means you’re already in the system and poised to benefit right away once new reforms occur.
Although the city of Atlanta and surrounding communities have individually voted to decriminalize cannabis possession, recreational use remains illegal throughout the state as whole.
If cannabis is important to your physical and mental wellbeing, becoming part of the medical program is the best way to ensure future legal protections and to guarantee access to well-regulated, top quality cannabis in Georgia.
How do I qualify for a Georgia medical marijuana card?
The first step to receiving your Georgia medical marijuana card is scheduling an appointment with a physician who is willing to prescribe medical marijuana as a treatment.
Next, you will need to complete paperwork, pay a registration fee, and provide proof of Georgia residency.
From gathering medical records, to contacting a state licensed physician, to submitting your paperwork and registration fee, the compassionate team at Georgia Marijuana Card will guide you through the process of becoming an official medical marijuana cardholder while providing ongoing counseling on utilizing cannabis to enhance your overall health.
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
At Georgia Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (866) 781-5606, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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