In a recent interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Governor Nathan Deal’s top aide, Chris Riley, told reporters that the governor is prepared to get behind a move to add post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain to the list of qualifying conditions for Georgia low THC oil patients.
The move surprised both patients and activists alike, as the governor had previously shut the door on the possibility of in-state marijuana cultivation, which would have given Georgia companies the opportunity to grow, extract and sell medical marijuana products in the state. Georgia’s low THC oil law is unique, in that it makes the possession of certain CBD and low THC oils legal for patients that meet the requirements, but the law makes no mention of how the patient should actually obtain the medicine since cultivation remains illegal in Georgia.
Rep. Allen Peake, the author of the original 2015 law known as the Haleigh’s Hope Act and a staunch advocate for expansion of the program, expressed appreciation for the governor’s willingness to move on the issue. “While we still have an access issue, I’m grateful for Gov. Deal’s support on helping more hurting citizens have the legal right to possess potentially life-changing medicine,” Peake told the AJC.
Tom McCain, Executive Director of Peachtree NORML, was very positive about the addition of additional qualifying for patients, especially those who spend 24 hours a day in pain and whose only option is often to turn to dangerous opiods. “It’s too bad he’s not going further but this is significant,” McCain said. “Especially the addition of chronic pain. That’s huge.”
The expansion is outlined in House Bill 764, which also calls for new licensing and reporting requirements for medical marijuana providers.