Georgia Lawmakers Look to Join Forces, Bills

The two Georgia lawmakers behind two different medical cannabis expansion plans say they’re in talks, as the annual legislative session reaches its closing days.

Under a bill by state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, Georgia’s medical cannabis oil registry would be opened to patients who have several new diagnoses. Those diagnoses are: AIDS or HIV, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, autoimmune disease, the painful skin disease epidermolysis bullosa, peripheral neuropathy, Tourette’s syndrome, or those who are in a hospice program. It also would open the registry earlier in the course of treatment to people who have cancer; Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as ALS; multiple sclerosis; Parkinson’s disease; or sickle cell disease.

Peake’s House Bill 65 passed the state House easily. The state Senate debated a bit before approving its own bill, Senate Bill 16, by state Sen. Ben Watson, R-Savannah.

That bill would open the registry to people who have autism. It would also cut the amount of THC that’s allowed in cannabis oil in Georgia from 5 percent to 3 percent. THC is the main chemical in marijuana that causes a high.