The governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, promulgated on Wednesday a law that legalizes the cultivation, processing and sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes in the state, a measure that some fear may open the door to the legalization of the recreational use of the drug.
HB 324 was signed today at a ceremony at the state Capitol, in which the governor was surrounded by legislators and families of patients who consume the oil for medicinal purposes.
"When real people, with real struggles, share their real pain stories, it's our job to find real solutions that bring real relief," Kemp said during the ceremony.
Sponsored by Republican Micah Gravley of Douglasville, the bill was approved by a large majority in the state legislature and had bipartisan support in the last session.
From now on it will be legal in Georgia the cultivation of the plant, the production of the medicinal oil and the sale in places allowed by the authorities.
Before the law was passed, patients who needed to consume the oil had to travel to other states where cultivation and production is legal.
The use of medicinal oil for healing purposes is legal in Georgia since 2015 for about 8,400 registered patients suffering from 16 conditions approved by the state Department of Health.
Among these conditions are cancer, Parkinson's disease, certain seizure disorders and some terminal illnesses.
The new law authorizes a limited number of sites for the cultivation of the plant. The oil produced can only be sold in 28 previously authorized distribution centers.
Last March, the governor of Florida (USA), Ron deSantis, promulgated the law SB 182 that repeals the prohibition that governed to smoke medical marijuana in the state, more than two years after the therapeutic use of the plant was approved in a popular consultation.
According to figures from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), more than thirty states in the US They have some kind of measure about medical marijuana.