Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has officially, at least for now, announced his firm opposition to the in-state cultivation of medical marijuana and the production of low THC oil, as well as a system for dispensing that oil to qualified patients. In a recent Macon Telegraph article Governor Deal expressed skepticism at the notion of growing cannabis in Georgia and said he wasn’t convinced the state could sufficiently control the use of the medicine.
“I still don’t think we have sufficient information or ability to control something of that nature if we start production and processing here in our state,” Deal said Wednesday morning.
The Governor made these statements despite the fact that the Commission on Medical Cannabis, a committee Deal appointed earlier this year in order to hold hearings and report findings to him on the feasibility of in-state cannabis cultivation, has yet to present their recommendations to him yet. Deal said that unless there was “something new” in the committee’s report that he was not aware of he can’t support growing marijuana in Georgia.
Underscoring Governor Deal’s concerns were the reports he received back from Georgia law enforcement officials that accompanied the Commission on a whirlwind tour of Colorado’s legal cannabis industry. Those law enforcement leaders surely reported to the Governor the impossible task of keeping track of everything when dealing with a wide-open medical marijuana system that has been in place for many years, as well as a recreational marijuana system where anyone over the age of 21 can walk into a retail store and buy marijuana. This is not a system that is even remotely close to the extremely restrictive low THC oil program that Georgia has crafted and it’s absurd to think that a comparison can be made between the types of programs the two states are operating.
In talking with the law enforcement officials who were part of that visit to Colorado, they have probably undergirded my concern of being able to have this in a controlled environment more so than my concern was previously – Governor Nathan Deal
Rep. Allen Peake (R- Macon), co-chair of the commission, outspoken patient advocate and father of Georgia’s low THC oil law, urged the Governor to consider states like Minnesotta, where a highly-restrictive medical marijuana program has been implemented where patients can obtain pills, oils and liquids that come from a handful of licensed manufacturers. “I am absolutely convinced that we can offer a model that would calm the fears of law enforcement and minimize any public safety issues,” Peake told the Telegraph.