Medical marijuana bill rewritten in squabble between House and Senate

A medical marijuana bill grew from 12 to 54 pages on the floor of the Georgia House, a drastic rewriting of the legislation as representatives seek ways to increase transparency and expand the number of producers.

The bill’s fate was uncertain Wednesday night after the House voted 154-13 to approve a new version of the proposal, sending it back to the state Senate.

State Rep. Alan Powell, R-Hartwell, speaks about HB 196 at the House of Representatives in Atlanta on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. The bill aims to expand medical marijuana production, increase transparency and end lawsuits. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

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Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

Senate leaders oppose expanding the medical marijuana program as envisioned by the House. Senators have backed greater transparency when companies bid for production licenses, but they’ve resisted awarding additional licenses.

Two companies are planning to begin selling medical marijuana as soon as June.

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