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Georgia Lawmaker to Introduce Bill Allowing In-State MMJ Cultivation

A Republican lawmaker in Georgia plans to introduce legislation as early as next week that would allow voters to decide whether to permit cultivation of cannabis plants for medicinal purposes in the state, according to a Telegraph report. The measure would need two-thirds of support from legislators in order to make it to voters in 2018.

Rep. Allen Peake, who sponsored the state’s limited medical cannabis legislation, said the proposal “would let the citizens of the state decide whether or not to go down this path,” noting that “the sky has not fallen” since the state passed their medical cannabis bill in 2015. Peake supports a “limited licensure” for a handful of tightly regulated medical cannabis growers.

The existing law suffers from serious flaws, mainly that — while medicinal cannabis is legal under certain circumstances — it is extremely difficult to obtain because Georgia’s program does not permit cannabis to be grown or processed in the state. This forces patients to obtain their medicine from out-of-state, which is illegal under federal law and constitutes drug trafficking.

Nevertheless, Republican Gov. Nathan Deal opposes Peake’s proposal over fears that the industry would grow out-of-control and some law enforcement agencies are opposed due to fears that it would lead to an adult-use market.

Peake indicated he was working on another bill that would add autism, intractable pain, AIDS, Tourette’s and post-traumatic stress disorder to the state’s medical cannabis qualifying condition list.

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