Medical marijuana expansion bill passes Georgia House, headed to Senate

The bill's sponsor and families dependent on THC oil were scrambling to get it to a vote ahead of Crossover Day.

ATLANTA — A bill to allow some farmers to grow medical marijuana in Georgia passed a major hurdle Tuesday after the Georiga House approved the bill.

The bill's sponsor and families dependent on THC oil were scrambling to get it to a vote ahead of Crossover Day.

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Crossover Day, which is Thursday, is the deadline for a bill to get voted out of one chamber or the other. If a bill doesn't, it’s pretty much dead for the year.

Shannon Cloud said she needs medical cannabis oil to treat her daughter, so she couldn’t hide her disappointment when she learned the bill, which would allow certain Georgia farmers to grow medical marijuana, got pulled off the House floor at the last second Tuesday afternoon when it became obvious it just didn’t have the votes.

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State Rep. Micah Gravely is the bill's sponsor and was trying to fix what some say is a legal conundrum.

It is legal to possess, with a special card, medical cannabis oil in Georgia. However, it is illegal to grow it here and it’s illegal to bring it across state lines.

The bill was ready for a vote Monday, but at the last second, it lost support when Gravely said Georgia sheriffs and evangelical groups lobbied against it.

Those groups worried about those who might abuse the law for illicit purposes.

So Gravely pulled it before a vote to make some changes that he believed would make the bill more palatable to opponents.

In a vote late Tuesday afternoon, the House passed the bill, and it will now make its way to the Senate.