“Access could mean many things, cultivation could be one of those. But there are other methods as well,” Cagle said. “If the only option we have under a very tight regulatory environment is to harvest it here, then I will pursue that.”
Channel 2 hosted Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp at the debate.
Kemp struck a similar chord, saying he supports “research-based expansion” of the program.
“If there’s research there that shows an expansion that could even lead to cultivation,” he said, “I’d definitely be open and supportive to doing that.”
The candidates, who square off in a July 24 runoff, had previously been more skeptical of a major expansion. That's one reason why Peake, a Macon restaurateur who isn't seeking re-election, endorsed business executive Clay Tippins in the crowded primary. Tippins now supports Kemp's campaign.
Both Cagle and Kemp are firmly in agreement on another element of the debate: They both oppose any effort to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
Their approach is starkly different than the policy outlined by former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for governor. She supports decriminalizing some marijuana-related offenses and expanding in-state cultivation, which she said could combat prescription drug abuse.
More recent AJC coverage of the Georgia race for governor: