If Haleigh's Hope Act passes, Georgia would join 20 other states that grow and provide medical marijuana, but that raises a lot of questions about how it would be produced.


The push for medical marijuana in Georgia has some wondering how it would be produced if legalized. House Bill 885, also known as Haleigh's Hope Act, passed in house committee Wednesday.

State representative Allen Peake of Macon drafted the bill, and he says the marijuana should be produced here in Georgia.

If that happened, we would join 20 other states that grow and provide medical marijuana, but that raises a lot of questions about how it would be produced in Georgia.

13WMAZ talked to distributors, cultivators and clinics in other states.

Maine has had medical marijuana since 1999, and patients can grow their own supply.

They can distribute it to as many as five other people -- if they go through a background check and pay a $300 growers fee.

I spoke with Sherry Bachelder of Maine, who runs a company called Medical Marijuana Growers of York County.

She produces a cannabis oil that's low in THC, the chemical that gets you high.
She explained how the medicine is processed and how long that takes.
It starts with seeds, which she gets from a local provider.

"Once they're big enough, we put them in seven-gallon buckets in our veg room," Sherry Bachelder said. "And then in our veg room, they can stay there between seven and nine weeks, and then they go in a flower stage, which can be anywhere from seven to nine weeks, before you harvest the product."

After it's harvested the plants are dried and watered twice, put in jars and then made into oil for medical use. She said the whole process from seed to pharmacy shelf takes about 6 months.

I also spoke with Dan Reid, the General Manager of Good Intentions Clinic in Chicago.
Illinois is the most recent state to legalize medical marijuana, and his clinic is the first in the state.
He says getting the medicine from seed to shelf there is a three-part process.

"There's the physician's side where patients come in and they must be certified under the care of a doctor and certified as having one of the conditions listed in the Illinois law," Reid said. "Then separately there are the cultivators. These are state licensed operations will grow marijuana, and then the third leg to the stool is the dispensary or the retail side."

The cultivators then sell to the dispensaries.

They can sell to patients, but only ones that are legally certified to buy medical marijuana.
Since they've only been able to grow since January 1st, Reid says he doesn't expect it to get to patients until the end of the year.

Allen Peake expects his bill to head to the House floor on Monday. That's crossover day. His bill has no chance of moving to the Senate and becoming law this year unless it passes the House by March 1st.

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