Dale Jackson

Georgia Senate passes cannabis oil expansion, adding several new conditions

Above: Dale Jackson shares a video of his son Colin, who suffers from a severe form of Autism, saying his first word after being given cannabis oil. Jackson and other parents have lobbied tirelessly to expand access to low THC oil in Georgia.
Photo credit Macon.com

Georgia lawmakers managed to pass a meaningful expansion of the two year-old cannabis oil law by adding several new qualifying conditions and making it easier for some patients with a current qualifying condition to receive certification, although in-state cultivation is still off the table (for now).

As a result of the efforts of representative Allen Peake (R- Macon) and other members of the General Assembly, the Georgia House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to adopt the House substitute for Senate Bill 16 by a 167-4 vote. It then passed in the Senate by a 45-6 vote on the last day of the 2017 legislative session and it now moves to Governor Deal for his signature.

If signed by the governor, the passage of SB16 will mean patients who suffer from Tourette’s Syndrome, Autism and other medical conditions that have shown promise with the treatment of medical marijuana will now qualify for certification under Georgia’s Low THC Oil program. In addition, patients who are under the care of a Georgia hospice will also qualify for cannabis oil. Specifically, patients with the following medical conditions will now qualify for a low THC oil card:

  1. Cancer, when the disease is severe or end stage OR treatment produces wasting or nausea and vomiting
  2. ALS (severe or end stage)
  3. Seizure disorders related to epilepsy or head trauma
  4. MS (severe or end stage)
  5. Crohn’s disease
  6. Mitochondrial disease
  7. Parkinson’s disease (severe or end stage)
  8. Sickle Cell disease (severe or end stage)
  9. Tourette’s Syndrome (severe)
  10. Autism (all patients over 18 qualify, under 18 must be diagnosed as severe)
  11. Epidermolysis bullosa
  12. Alzheimer’s disease (severe or end stage)
  13. AIDS (severe or end stage)
  14. Peripheral neuropathy (severe or end stage)

In addition to the new conditions listed above, SB16 will also make other changes to Georgia’s low THC oil law, including:

  • Removes the one-year residency requirement.
  • Allows certification for patients that are in either an inpatient or outpatient hospice program, regardless of diagnosis.
  • Requires semi-annual reporting by recommending physicians to include the level of THC in the oil the patient has been taking.
  • Provides reciprocity for qualified patients from other states that allow the patient to possess low THC oil.

What’s missing

Many Georgia activists were unhappy with the fact that the expansion did not include a mechanism for in-state cannabis cultivation or cannabis oil production, as well as the exclusion of conditions like PTSD and Fibromyalgia. Rep. Peake offered a separate resolution earlier in the legislative session (HR 36) that would have given Georgia voters a say on the issue of in-state cultivation but it was defeated in the House. “While this bill does not go as far as many of us would like, it does add six more conditions to the already successful program in our current law and this will allow many more hurting Georgians to benefit from medical cannabis oil as an option,” Peake told the AJC on Tuesday.


13 Responses to “Georgia Senate passes cannabis oil expansion, adding several new conditions

  • I was diagnosed with Lupus and currently use benlyst for treatment. I suffer from chronic pain to include several other diseases directly influenced you Lupus. I’m currently using morphine and hydrocodone for breakthrough. Why was Lupus excluded

    • I would ask the same question. Lupus is truly a life-altering disease.

  • Any disease affecting the human body in an adverse way should have access. I feel if they can prove the medicine that you’re prescribed cause internal bleeding, organ failure and or death then you should be allowed treatment with Cannabis. Both my parents have Fibromyalgia and it kills me to see how they suffer and the many meds they take and they truly aren’t working. Ironic how the lawmakers ate given their position for public safety and security, but it seems “We, the people” are more humane then they would ever allow government to become

  • You should not have to prove that another type of medicine does not work or detail the side effects the drug companies already know this weather or not they disclose it or not. I do think they should make it legal for chronic pain. I have had 2 back surgery’s and am on several pain meds that are causing several unwanted side effects, this stuff is worse than heroin. Cannabis is all natural and will not kill you like these meds will. I know its all about the money but you are playing with peoples lives and people can only take so much before they take things into their own hands. Put away the reefers madness movie this is 2017 we have proof that cannibis will cure some ailments and help with others such as pain. Please help us who really need it, you know in your heart that its better for the community than alcohol . Please do what’s right. Thank you.

    • I couldn’t agree more. I too am on several pain meds for a bad back. Last night I was awake more than asleep. Hurting so bad.I spend more nights in my recliner than our bed. Something has got to give. You go to the pain clinic each month, and they want to draw blood to see if any alcohol has been in your system. I understand the importance of not mixing the two, but with chronic pain, what do you do? My issues will never get better. Doc says each day will be better than tomorrow. Multiple surgeries are coming, probably sooner than later as the injections aren’t working. If this oil helps, why not have it available to people? I’m 53, and take about 8 pills every morning. From blood pressure, to depression, PTSD, cholesterol, and of course two types of pain meds, which I take multiple times a day. It can’t be good on my body. I’ve put on about 40 pounds and there’s no getting it off.

      • Todd I feel for you, I do almost the same thing day in and day out. My Dr agree’s that can ibis however its taken could be helpful for a lot of his patients but he is more afraid of the government so he doesn’t want his name associated with this. What a shame people have to suffer needlessly. At least do it on a case by case basis to help those who are worse off then me.

    • I am in the same boat you are but I take oxycodone 30 mg four times a day and other medicines also they need to legalize it specially for us that’s been suffering for 10 years or longer I really don’t understand other than it has to be about the money sad money before life.

  • I am interested in this for s friend who has a rare blood disease. .

  • So Ulcerative Colitis is still not going to be approved?

  • I have lupus,rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. I was hoping that one would make the list.

  • I have arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. I was born with this very rare birth defect. Im in severe pain 24 7. Why is there a limit? I think it should be for those that have severe medical issues period.

  • I’d like to see chronic pain conditions added, rheumatoid arthritis, paoriatic arthritis, Fibromyalgia and depression and panic attacks included.
    I can’t have the biologics, my immune system can’t handle them.
    I refuse pain meds. The more you take, the more you need. I refuse to add pain pill addiction to everything else.

  • I meant psoriatic arthritis. I have them all

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