Georgia medical cannabis debate could heat up in January – The Telegraph
Election Day was a winning day for marijuana. Voters in eight states approved either the growth of recreational marijuana or, like Florida, the production of medical cannabis.
Those votes will increase pressure for change in Georgia.
“We were obviously encouraged by all the positive votes,” said Shannon Cloud. She and her husband, Blaine Cloud, are two of Georgia’s most vocal medical cannabis activists. Their 11-year-old daughter, Alaina, has taken a liquid made with cannabis to treat the symptoms of a rare seizure disorder.
“The fact that Florida passed medical was a huge win. We’re not that different from Florida. We are hopeful that we could get it on the ballot here in 2018,” Shannon Cloud said.
What Florida passed is the licensed cultivation, manufacture and sale of cannabis products to Florida patients who have a medical marijuana card.
So Georgians will be greeted with a new Florida curiosity when they head south on vacation: medical marijuana dispensaries.
But in Georgia, unlike Florida, the question of medical marijuana cultivation must go through the state Legislature before a public vote. In Florida, supporters bypassed the state Legislature, instead collecting nearly 700,000 signatures to put the question on the ballot.
The Macon restaurateur who sponsored the bill that created Georgia’s medical cannabis registry said nationwide momentum and poll results favor medical cannabis.
“It’s coming. It’s now in 29 states, after Election Day, that have full-blown medical marijuana programs. It’s coming to Georgia at some point,” said state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, counting medical-only cannabis states such as Florida, plus places like Colorado that allow recreational marijuana too.
Peake wants Georgia to move to that list of “full-blown” medical cannabis states: those that allow the licensed, in-state growth of cannabis for sale to patients, like Florida; or even like Louisiana, where two universities want