Georgia lawmakers ready to expand access to medical cannabis

FILE - In this Dec. 27, 2013 file photo, an employee trims away unneeded leaves from pot plants, harvesting the plant's buds to be packaged and sold at Medicine Man marijuana dispensary, in Denver. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, file)

ATLANTA (AP) – Two years after Georgia legalized medical marijuana, lawmakers are opening the popular program to more patients.

The House approved a bill Tuesday that would add six new diagnoses to the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis oil, including autism, AIDS, Tourette’s syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Additionally, anyone in a hospice program, regardless of diagnosis, will be allowed access to marijuana oil that’s low on THC, the chemical responsible for the marijuana high.

The final bill was a compromise. The Senate wanted to lower THC levels in the cannabis oil while the House wanted a greater expansion with more qualifying conditions.

The bill will have to pass the Senate before moving to the governor who has signaled his approval of the limited program expansion.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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