Medical marijuana patients in Georgia could soon be able to legally purchase cannabis for the first time since medicinal use was legalized in 2015. When Georgia lawmakers okayed medical marijuana four years ago, they didn't approve the sale or cultivation of cannabis in the state, which left many patients in a lurch.
But that could change in the near future. Right now, there is a bill sitting on Georgia Governor Brian Kemp's (R) desk that would finally allow medical marijuana growers and dispensaries to open shop in the Peach State.
The bill's success is somewhat surprising, since it looked doomed to fail until Governor Kemp stepped in to help House and Senate leaders come to agreement on how to increase patient access to medical marijuana while preventing cannabis from getting diverted to the black market.
"It's a very, very tough issue. But there's a lot of legislative support for it. I respect the legislative process, and I understand why people are doing it, and I understand why people have grave concerns about this," Kemp told AJC earlier this month.
So after fighting for the bill's survival, it's expected that Governor Kemp will sign the underdog legislation as soon as he can.
Medical marijuana will not be available for purchase directly after Kemp signs the bill however. Dispensaries would still need to be licensed through a regulatory board that hasn't been assembled yet. So patients will have to wait a bit longer before they can actually purchase their medication, but at least the end to this legislative limbo is in sight.