Atlanta

Companies denied access to sell marijuana oil in Georgia now suing the state

ATLANTA — A state commission dealing with medical marijuana could be dissolved if a state lawmaker gets his way.

The commission has been the target of several lawsuits over the way it handed out growing and distributing licenses. One lawmaker is detailing his plan to have those lawsuits dropped.

Nine years ago, lawmakers legalized medical cannabis oil, but companies are still not able to distribute it.

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Two companies say they will be able to legally distribute it in a month, but other companies who were denied licenses say they want in too.

Republican Alan Powell wants to tackle the legal and logistical mess left behind by the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission.

“We have a broken system, ladies and gentleman,” Powell said to a Senate committee.

Channel 2′s Richard Elliot was at the committee meeting where Powell detailed his plans.

“There has been a lot of discussion about abolishing the cannabis commission and to move that operation over to the Department of Agriculture,” he said.

After a lengthy approval process, the commission granted licenses to two companies and tentatively awarded them to four others.

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Nine companies that didn’t get a license have filed lawsuits complaining that the entire process was flawed.

Powell wants the commission to give those nine companies licenses in exchange for dropping their lawsuits.

Shannon Cloud fought for the legalization of cannabis oil nine years ago. She’s frustrated that nearly a decade later, she still can’t get it for her daughter legally.

“It’s just frustrating that it’s all about the companies now that are trying to make money, and its no longer about the patients,” Cloud told Elliot.

Cloud says she just wants lawmakers to get the legal and legislative aspects settled so her daughter and the 26,000 other registered patients can get what they need.

“I don’t care if this bill passes or not. It’s up to the legislature to do something to get the hands in the medicine of the patients because we’ve been waiting for too long,” she said.

The Senate committee will meet on Thursday and could vote on the licenses, or possibly disbanding the commission altogether.

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