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The status of medical marijuana in Georgia

Earlier this year, Gov. Nathan Deal signed a new medical marijuana measure into law. The measure intended to expand our state’s existing medical marijuana allowances to include the treatment of six additional conditions with a special kind of low-THC cannabis oil.

The six additional conditions treatable with cannabis oil are Alzheimer’s disease, autism, AIDS, peripheral neuropathy, epidermolysis bullosa and Tourette’s syndrome. The new law also allows patients in hospice care to possess cannabis oil. Previously, as the result of a 2015 measure, patients were only permitted to possess a max of 20 ounces of the oil for the treatment of severe Parkinson’s, epilepsy, cancer and several other illnesses.

A “ray of hope” for people suffering from debilitating illness

According to state Rep. Allen Peake, who wrote the House’s version of the law, the measure will ensure that “more hurting Georgians with debilitating illnesses (can) have a ray of hope for a better quality of life.” The representative further expressed his hope that more medical marijuana will be available for patients suffering from additional treatable conditions by the end of 2018. He also expressed the hope that medical cannabis oil will be produced locally, safely and be legally available in Georgia.

The recent law, signed by the governor in May, came about through a compromise between the state’s House and Senate chambers. The compromise prevents the allowable THC percentage available in cannabis oil from exceeding 5 percent.

Marijuana is still a controlled substance in Georgia

It’s vital for all Georgia residents to remember that marijuana in its usual forms — and even varieties of cannabis oil that contain higher percentages of THC — are illegal in our state, no matter what patients are using them to treat. Nevertheless, these products may be more available than ever on the black market illegally.Just because you encounter a medical marijuana product produced with professional labeling does not mean that it’s legal in the state of Georgia. The substance could simply be an illegally imported marijuana product from a state with more relaxed controls. If police find you in possession of these products, you could face serious criminal charges in court, that could lead to prison time and other punishments.