ATLANTA, GA (WTOC) - Georgia's legislature will once again debate a bill opening up the state's medical marijuana program. That includes provisions to grow and distribute marijuana.
We're learning Georgia Governor Nathan Deal still may not sign a bill allowing that because he is still hesitant on any bill that opens up production and distribution of marijuana. His reasoning is that it's still illegal on the federal level.
The federal government does still list marijuana as a schedule 1 drug. Governor Deal said the pressure should be on them to open marijuana's uses - not states trying to go around federal laws.
Georgia opened medical marijuana in 2015 with Haleigh's hope act. Last year, the legislature voted to open up the conditions for medical marijuana use. Governor Deal said his office is in support of that legislation - just not any bill allowing its growth.
It's still illegal to grow, distribute, possess marijuana. The debate for this treatment option is only heating up given the ongoing opioid epidemic. Deal said the state is simply just not ready for that.
"I don't think we're quite there yet. It may come in the future years. I don't think we're there yet. I think we should play a cautious role and that's what we've done. At the same, being sensitive to the needs of those who believe or have actually demonstrated that it has a positive effect for them," said Governor Deal.
We'll follow all of the bills and resolutions in the house and senate and update you on their progress.