Deal names Peake to lead medical marijuana commission

Gov. Nathan Deal has named a group of lawmakers, health care professionals and law enforcement officials to the new Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis.

The panel, to be led by Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, will make recommendations for a system of creating an in-state growth and distribution system to provide the drug.

Peake led efforts the past two years to legalize the use of a specific form of medication derived from marijuana for those who suffer from a specific list of ailments. Currently, patients still must travel out of state to obtain it. The commission’s goal is to find a way to manufacture it safely and legally in Georgia.

Also on the commission, which must report back to Deal and the General Assembly the end of the year, are:

Rep. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome, Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville,attorney Brian Rickman, hematologist/oncologist Dr. Cynthia Wetmore, neurologist Dr. Yong Park, gastroenteroligist Dr. Mark Murphy, pharmacist Sara “Mandy” Reece, Covington Police Chief Stacey Cotton, Paulding County Sheriff Gary Gulledge, Commissioner of Public Health Brenda Fitzgerald; GBI Director Vernon Keenan, director of the Georegia Drugs and Narcotics Agency Rick Allen, Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, Georgia Medical Composite Board Chairman Dr. David Retterbush and Ryan Teague, Deal’s executive counsel.

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