6 things to know now that medical marijuana is legal in Georgia


6 things to know now that medical marijuana is legal in Georgia

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Georgia State Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon shows a bottle of medical cannabis oil as he presents his House Bill 1 on Feb. 3, 2015. BRANT SANDERLIN / BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

1. House Bill 1, the "Haleigh's Hope Act," took effect immediately on Thursday, and makes it legal for people in Georgia who suffer from eight illnesses to possess up to 20 ounces of cannabis oil if a physician signs off. Read more about the law from the AJC's Greg Bluestein.

2. The eight disorders are: cancer, Crohn’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, mitochondrial disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, seizure disorders and sickle cell disease. The AJC in February told the story of Blair Brown, a young mother battling grand mal seizures for whom cannabis oil could be a ray of hope.

3. The administrative framework for doctors and patients should be in place within two months, Gov. Nathan Deal said.

4. The law requires the oil contain no more than 5 percent THC, the high-inducing chemical associated with recreational marijuana use. It also legalizes clinical trials sought by some senators to further study how the drug works.

5. You can't cultivate the oil in Georgia, so interested citizens will have to obtain it in states where home cultivation is legal, such as Colorado. Legalizing home cultivation is Georgia is seen by some advocates as the next legislative step.

6. Travel to and from such states will be tricky, as marijuana possession is still illegal in many states, including every one of Georgia's immediate neighbors.

This story has been updated.

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