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Deal: State will explore medical marijuana

Gov. Nathan Deal

Gov. Nathan Deal

Gov. Nathan Deal announced Thursday plans for clinical trials examining the use of cannabis oil by Georgia children with epileptic disorders.

The Georgia General Assembly earlier this year considered legislation that would provide for the legal medical use of certain cannabis products. The movement gained significant support but no bills were passed.

According to a news release, Deal has nevertheless consulted with the federal Food and Drug Administration on how to implement clinical trials with cannabis oil products at Georgia Regents University in Augusta. The state is considering two “tracks worthy of pursuit.”

One would pair Georgia Regents University with a private pharmaceutical company that has developed a purified liquid cannibanoid that contains no THC, which is the component in marijuana that intoxicates users. The school would then set up a “well-designed trial for children with epileptic disorders.”

The second option would be using cannabis oil obtained from cannabis product grown by the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the University of Mississippi.

“We do not see these options as mutually exclusive, and we’re looking to move forward on both options at this time,” Deal said in a statement.