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Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal

City of Marietta, GA

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has signed the bill adding post-traumatic stress disorder and intractable pain to the state medical cannabis program, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. However, lawmakers failed to pass any broad expansion to the limited low-THC program.

Patients still have no in-state access. The program allows enrollees to possess the cannabis oil but does not allow a way to legally obtain it. Lawmakers did consider a bill to allow for in-state production of the oil but that measure, which Deal opposed, never received a full House vote.

A legislative commission will study in-state cannabis oil production. The commission will evaluate security, manufacturing, product labeling, testing, and dispensing and make recommendations to the General Assembly next year.

Democrats vying for the governor’s office support expanding the program and allowing in-state production, according to Courthouse News. Both candidates, Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans support the reforms as a way to fight the opioid crisis. Just one of the Republican gubernatorial hopefuls, state Sen. Michael Williams, supports expanding the program. Williams has called the state law “inadequate at best, criminal at worst.”

There are currently about 4,000 patients enrolled in Georgia’s medical cannabis program. Patients with PTSD and intractable pain will be allowed to apply to participate in the program July 1.

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