ATLANTA — The controversial commission that hands out medical cannabis oil licenses will remain in place for the time being.
The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission narrowly survived a vote on whether or not to dissolve it on Thursday. The commission will be subject to a review by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The review comes after nine companies who were denied licenses to sell the oil filed lawsuits against the commission claiming their methods of deciding whose license applications to approve are unfair.
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One lawmaker, Republican Alan Powell, proposed giving those companies licenses in exchange for dropping the lawsuits. The commission did not approve that proposal.
Channel 2′s Richard Elliot was at the commission meeting and spoke with supporters who say they have spent years fighting for medical marijuana oil in Georgia.
“I’ve been fighting for this for over three years,” Christopher Quidort said.
Quidort has neurofibromatosis, an illness that creates tumors all over the body, including his brain. He says years of prescribed opiates made him addicted. He says medical cannabis oil freed him of those addictions.
“Every time I got put on pharmaceuticals from mental health, I always relapsed. When I’ve used my oil, I didn’t. I stayed. I maintained my sobriety,” he said.
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The commission unanimously voted to approve the bill that would give licenses to two companies and then four more provisionally instead of Powell’s proposal.
Powell admitted to Elliot that he does like this version of the bill, but is glad it is moving forward at all, nine years after medical cannabis oil was legalized in the state.
“Quite frankly, any process that takes seven years to accomplish when you have children and people who [have a] medical necessity to this cannabis oil, I don’t see the purpose in waiting,” Powell said.
The bill will now go to the full Senate, but will also face a conference committee where it will face serious challenges from the House.
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