Gov. Nathan Deal signed House Bill 65 into law Monday to add PTSD and intractable pain to the list of conditions treatable by cannabis oil. State Rep. Allen Peake, the sponsor of the bill, is on Deal's right. They're surrounded by legislators and supporters. Photo credit: State Rep. Allen Peake

Medical marijuana for PTSD and pain signed into Georgia law

Georgians suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and intractable pain will soon be allowed to use medical marijuana.

Gov. Nathan Deal signed House Bill 65 into law May 7, adding PTSD and intractable pain to the list of conditions eligible for treatment by cannabis oil. It will take effect July 1.

Georgia’s medical marijuana law, first passed in 2015, now covers more than a dozen conditions, including late-stage cancer and seizure disorders. The law allows patients approved by a physician to possess small amounts of cannabis oil.

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But state lawmakers didn’t pass a broader expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program. That measure, House Bill 645, would have legalized harvesting and distribution of cannabis oil.

State law still bans growing, buying or transporting the drug, leaving patients with no way to legally obtain it.

That debate could be revived during next year’s legislative session.

A 10-member study commission will evaluate in-state access of cannabis oil, according to HB 65. The commission will evaluate security, manufacturing, product labeling, testing and dispensing.

About 4,000 patients are currently on the state’s medical marijuana registry.

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