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Lawmakers Trying to Add Six New Qualifying Conditions to Georgia’s Medical Marijuana Program

Senate Bill 16 would make CBD oil available to patients with autism, Alzheimer's, AIDS and more.

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Georgia’s CBD-only medical marijuana program is about to get a whole lot of new patients. Senate Bill 16, which was approved by the Georgia state house yesterday, would expand the limited initiative to include six new ailments - a move that would presumably multiply the state’s current 1,300 patient medical marijuana program.

According to the Macon Telegraph, if SB16 gets Senate and Gubernatorial approval, Georgia residents suffering from “‘Severe’ autism for people under the age of 18; autism for people ages 18 or older; severe or end-stage cases of Alzheimer’s disease, AIDS or peripheral neuropathy; severe Tourette’s syndrome; or any case of the painful skin disease epidermolysis bullosa,” to access low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil. The program would also allow open enrollment for Georgians in hospice.

For Georgia legislators, the bill represents a compromise between an inclusive, THC-friendly MMJ program like those in California and Colorado, and a lower THC, extremely limited program favored by some lawmakers. SB16 leaves the current THC ceiling in place at 5%.

“While this bill does not go as far as many of us would like, it does add six more conditions to the already successful program in our current law and this will allow many more hurting Georgians to benefit from medical cannabis oil as an option,” said state Rep. Allen Peake before Tuesday’s vote.

The compromising bill still has to make its way through the Georgia State Senate and Governor Nathan Deal, but successful House vote of 167-4 shows strong bipartisan support and bodes well for SB16, and Georgia’s possible new medical marijuana patients.