With medical use of cannabis oil now legal in Georgia, the next stage will be making the substance available in the state for all of those authorized to use it.

Gov. Nathan Deal Thursday morning signed House Bill 1 allowing possession of up to 20 ounces of cannabis oil for medical treatment. Along with children’s seizure disorders, the legislation covers cancer, ALS, MS, Crohn’s disease, mitochondrial disease, Parkinson’s disease and sickle cell disease.

But many of the approximately 500,000 eligible Georgians still will not have easy access to cannabis oil without traveling out of state and possibly violating federal law, Deal and legislation sponsor Allen Peake, R-Macon, acknowledged at the bill signing ceremony at the Capitol.

Peake said that a Colorado manufacturer has agreed to ship cannabis oil containing .3 THC to Georgia. That THC level is enough for children with seizure disorders, but adults with conditions such as ALS might require cannabis oil with 5 percent THC, as allowed by the law.

A 17-member state commission formed by the law will make recommendations to next year’s Legislature on setting up a Georgia distribution system. The commission’s report will determine how extensive the system will be. 

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