It's a cornerstone of legislation that creates a new but limited marijuana industry in Georgia. The legislation was celebrated as a milestone for patients who were previously allowed to use the drug — but had to violate state and federal laws to purchase it.
One potential cause for the lag time is that the commission is essentially a startup, unlike other boards and agencies with built-in procedures and existing members. State officials say they’ve been inundated with applications — more than 50 candidates have surfaced for the spots.
The law also sets strict requirements for appointments, including a rule that commission members must not have any ownership stake or other financial interest in a cannabis oil firm during their term — and five years after it ends.
Still, the delay is a setback for patients and their families who celebrated the law's passage with hopes it would provide much-needed treatment for severe seizures, terminal cancers, Parkinson's disease and other illnesses.
“It’s extremely frustrating for medically fragile patients to finally get a bill passed that allows the distribution of medical cannabis oil, and then still be waiting on Governor Kemp to establish the commission,” said Blaine Cloud, whose daughter Alaina suffers from a severe form of epilepsy that could be treated by the drug.
“Registered patients and many others continue to suffer every day – and will continue to suffer since it will take time to get companies licensed once the commission is finally established.”
Read more here: Georgia medical marijuana expansion stalls amid 'frustrating' delay