ATLANTA - State lawmakers have reached a compromise on two competing medical cannabis bills.
“I'm grateful to my Senate colleagues that we've come to a resolution that will allow more Georgians to benefit from what has so far been a successful medical cannabis program,” said Rep. Allen Peake, R- Macon.
Peake was the primary sponsor of House Bill 65, which would have added several new conditions to the list of those that qualify a patient for Georgia's medical cannabis oil registry. Members of the Senate, however, filed their own legislation, which would have added just one condition, autism, and would have reduced the legal THC limit from five percent to only 3 percent.
Many parents and advocates said that was a non-starter, because they believe the THC is part of what helps ease patients pain and other symptoms.
“That would have been a deal-breaker,” explained Dale Jackson, whose son, Colin, has autism. “Thankfully the Senate was reasonable and they're willing to work with the House on this matter.”
The final compromise, according to Rep. Peake, would add autism, AIDS, Alzheimer's, epidermolysis bullosa, Tourette's syndrome and peripheral neuropathy, as well as those in hospice care. The THC percentage would stay the same.
“I think we came to a conclusion that it's worked,” Rep. Peake explained. “There hasn't been a public safety issue at this time in our state. So, why change it?”
Peake expects a House committee to review the compromise bill on Friday.