Medical marijuana bill clears key hurdle

Legislation that would bring medical marijuana to Georgia for the first time gained committee approval late Wednesday.

House Bill 885, by Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, was approved by the House Health and Human Services Committee and should reach the House floor on Monday, Peake said.

A major change was made to the bill that should help clear a key hurdle. Originally, Peake’s plan was to import a type of cannabis oil from Colorado that could be used to treat only certain seizure disorders. But federal law bans transporting the material between states.

The version of the bill approved Wednesday would allow the state’s five research universities to cultivate cannabis to harvest the oil, which has proven successful in helping patients who suffer from seizures.

The vote Wednesday was important as Monday is the last day for bills to move from one chamber to the other.

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