During the final day of the 2016 legislative session the Georgia Senate failed to take action on SB 145, a bill which would have expanded Georgia’s medical marijuana oil law. The defeat of SB 145 comes after a legislative session chock full of political wrangling and the further intrusion of special interests into the lives of sick and dying Georgians.
Ups and Downs
SB 145 was originally introduced in the Georgia House of Representatives this January as House Bill 722. As it was originally conceived by State Representative Allen Peake (R- Macon), HB 722 would have legalized in-state medical marijuana cultivation for up to five licensed producers, and it would have created a robust medical marijuana oil industry in our state that would have provided both choice and safe access to cannabis medicine for thousands of patients.
But the prospect of in-state marijuana cultivation was too much for the propagandists and special interests, so it was removed in committee hearings and compromise was struck that would add legal protection for low THC oil producers that ship their product to patients.
HB 722 passed the House and moved to the Senate with the committee’s modifications, and when it landed in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee it was killed by the committee chairperson and full-time insurance company executive Senator Renee Unterman (R- Buford), who refused to give the bill a hearing.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat
After Sen. Unterman’s obstructionary measures Rep. Peake teamed up with Sen. Josh McKoon (R- Columbus) to gut McKoon’s previous marijuana bill and inserted the language from 722. The new NEW bill went back to the House, received a favorable vote and returned to the Senate for a final vote, where it met its final demise.
You can read the full version of Senate Bill 145 below, or click here to download a PDF copy.