Georgia state House approves extremely limited medical cannabis bill for kids


CBD-rich hash oil.

A Georgia bill that would (sort of) legalize medical cannabis for children only has gained overwhelming approval from the state House yesterday and now heads to the state Senate for approval.
House Bill 1107, also called the “Therapeutic Cannabidiol Research Act of 2014”, would allow for clinical trials on CBD for children suffering from severe forms of epilepsy. The bill does not legalize CBD for adults, nor does it come anywhere close to legalizing medical cannabis as a whole.

The bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Allen Peake, says he wrote the bill after meeting with Haleigh Cox, a 4-year-old suffering from a rare seizure disorder. Cox’s mother, Janea, was overwhelmed by the state House passing the bill.
“We had so much support in there I can’t imagine it not passing,” she told Fox News. “It’s crazy to be a part of history. I think we’re all in shock right now.”
While the bill no doubt makes state legislators feel good about themselves – especially since it has been sold to them as a means of helping heal sick children – it’s really unclear whether or not it will do any good at this point. Lawmakers have made the bill so tightly regulated and have included so many checks through the process that it seems cumbersome to the point of being ineffective.
Authors of the bill say they crafted it to avoid the “slippery slope” of outright legalization of cannabis in their state. It heavily restricts the CBD to academic medical centers in the state, and even then it’s questionable whether or not children will actually ever be allowed any therapies; as the bill reads now it seems they may need FDA approval before it could be “prescribed”.
In fact, the bill requires the federal FDA to approve of a CBD provider for the state. CBD has to be “manufactured and tested in a facility approved or certified by the federal Food and Drug Administration or similar national agency in another country which has been approved by the [FDA]. The bill also has language requiring that CBD be tested in animals before it can be given to humans. CBD oil can have no more than .3 percent THC by weight. All CBD would have to go through the Georgia Board of Pharmacy before being administered.
In short: if you’ve got a sick child in Georgia who would benefit from CBD oil but you want to make sure you’re obtaining it legally, you might want to consider moving to another state because your kid isn’t going to be receiving any help any time soon.
At least a few legislators recognized those flaws, including Rep. Sharon Cooper, chairwoman of the Health and Human Service Committee, who pointed out that all medical research hospitals who participate risk losing federal funding as cannabis remains illegal at the federal level.
The bill now moves to the state Senate for approval.