Halcyon Organics is First Atlanta Georgia Medical Marijuana and Cannabis Company

Georgia House Bill 885 Haleigh’s Hope Act

Here’s the current version of Georgia HB 885, Haleigh’s Hope Act.  It’s written in ‘government’ so it is not a fun or easy read 😉

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H. B. 885

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House Bill 885

By: Representatives Peake of the 141st, Watson of the 166th, Channell of the 120th, Kaiser of

the 59th, Gravley of the 67th, and others

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT

1 To amend Article 5 of Chapter 34 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated,

2 relating to the use of cannabis for treatment of cancer and glaucoma, so as to provide for

3 continuing research into the benefits of medical cannabis to treat certain conditions; to

4 provide for a short title; to provide for legislative findings and intent; to provide for the

5 continuation of the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Program; to provide for

6 selection of academic medical centers to conduct the research; to provide for expansion of

7 the review board and its duties; to establish the responsibilities of academic medical centers;

8 to provide for the testing, storing, and dispensing by the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics

9 Agency; to provide for immunity; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws;

10 and for other purposes.

11 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

12 SECTION 1.

13 WHEREAS, the General Assembly finds and declares that clinical research has shown

14 certain benefits arising from the utilization of medical cannabis and, most recently,

15 significant benefits of a particular strain delivered orally for the treatment of seizure

16 disorders among children.

17 WHEREAS, nothing in this legislation should be construed as encouraging or sanctioning

18 the recreational use of cannabis, nor is this legislation to be construed as any intent of the

19 General Assembly to be moving in the direction of the legalization of recreational cannabis.

20 SECTION 2.

21 Article 5 of Chapter 34 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the

22 use of cannabis for treatment of cancer and glaucoma, is amended by revising the article as

23 follows:

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24 “ARTICLE 5

25 43-34-120.

26 This article shall be known and may be cited as the ‘Controlled Substances Therapeutic

27 Research ‘Haleigh’s Hope Act.’

28 43-34-121.

29 (a) The General Assembly finds and declares that the potential medicinal value of

30 marijuana has received insufficient study due to a lack of financial incentives for the

31 undertaking of appropriate research by private drug manufacturing concerns. Individual

32 physicians cannot feasibly utilize marijuana in clinical trials because of federal

33 governmental controls which involve expensive, time-consuming approval and monitoring

34 procedures this legislation’s purpose is the compassionate potentially life-saving use of

35 medical cannabis and is not intended to sanction, encourage, or otherwise be construed as

36 a movement toward the legalization of recreational cannabis. Clinical research performed

37 over the past decades continues to show benefits arising from medical cannabis. Presently

38 there are in excess of one million United States medical cannabis patients and an increasing

39 number of physicians are recommending the therapeutic use of cannabis to their patients

40 in accordance with their respective state law. New extracts and compounds have been

41 developed demonstrating that cannabidiol, one of the most prevalent nonpsychoactive

42 cannabinoids, has significant health and wellness benefits as shown by recent publication

43 of the positive treatment of certain seizure disorders afflicting children.

44 (b) The General Assembly further finds and declares that limited continuing studies

45 throughout the nation indicate that marijuana cannabis and certain of its derivatives possess

46 valuable and, in some cases, unique therapeutic properties, including the ability to treat

47 cancer, as well as relieve nausea and vomiting which routinely accompany chemotherapy

48 and irradiation used to treat cancer patients. Marijuana Cannabis also may be effective in

49 treating, as well as reducing intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients who do not respond

50 well in adjunct to conventional medications. Cannabis derivatives have recently shown to

51 be effective in the treatment of seizure disorders among other conditions and diseases.

52 (c) The General Assembly further finds and declares that, in enabling individual

53 physicians and their patients to participate in a state-sponsored program for the

54 investigational use of marijuana cannabis and its derivatives, qualified physicians and

55 surgeons throughout the state academic medical centers will be able to study the benefits

56 of the drug in a controlled clinical setting, and additional knowledge will be gained with

57 respect to dosage and effects.

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58 (d) It is the intent of the General Assembly in enacting this article to permit research into

59 the therapeutic and treatment applications of marijuana cannabis and its derivatives in

60 cancer, and glaucoma, and seizure disorder patients. This would allow qualified physicians

61 academic medical centers approved by the Patient Qualification Review Board created by

62 Code Section 43-34-124 to provide authorize use of the drug on a compassionate basis to

63 seriously ill persons suffering from cancer, as well as the severe side effects of

64 chemotherapy or radiation treatment, and to persons suffering from glaucoma who are not

65 responding to conventional treatment, and to persons suffering from seizure disorders,

66 which persons would otherwise have no lawful access to it. It is the further intent of the

67 General Assembly to facilitate clinical trials of marijuana cannabis and its derivatives,

68 particularly with respect to persons suffering from cancer, and glaucoma, and seizure

69 disorders who would be benefited by use of the drug.

70 (e) This article is limited to clinical trials and research into therapeutic applications of

71 marijuana cannabis only for use in treating glaucoma, and in treating cancer and the side

72 effects of chemotherapeutic agents and radiation, and utilizing medical cannabis for the

73 treatment of seizure disorders and should not be construed as either encouraging or

74 sanctioning the social use of cannabis marijuana. Nothing in this article shall be construed

75 to encourage the use of marijuana in lieu of or in conjunction with other accepted medical

76 treatment, but only as an adjunct to such accepted medical treatment.

77 43-34-122.

78 As used in this article, the term:

79 (1) ‘Academic medical center’ means a research hospital that operates a medical

80 residency program for physicians and conducts research that involves human subjects.

81 (1)(2) ‘Board’ means the Georgia Composite Medical Board.

82 (2)(3) ‘Cannabis’ ‘Marijuana’ means marijuana cannabis or tetrahydrocannabinol, as

83 defined or listed in Article 2 of Chapter 13 of Title 16.

84 (4) ‘Medical cannabis for the treatment of seizure disorders’ means cannabis extracts and

85 compounds of cannabis, including, but not limited to, those strains used to manufacture

86 cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, that is delivered to the patient in a

87 nonsmoking delivery system whether it be in the form of liquid, pill, vaporization, or

88 injection or other delivery method that does not include smoking.

89 (3)(5) ‘Physician’ means a person licensed to practice medicine pursuant to Article 2 of

90 this chapter.

91 (4)(6) ‘Program’ means the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Program

92 established pursuant to Code Section 43-34-123.

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93 (5)(7) ‘Review board’ means the Patient Qualification Review Board established pursuant

94 to Code Section 43-34-124.

95 43-34-123.

96 (a) There is established under the Georgia Composite Medical Board the Controlled

97 Substances Therapeutic Research Program, which shall be administered by the board.

98 Under the program, the board shall act as a sponsor of state-wide investigational studies,

99 utilizing as drug investigators individual physicians who elect academic medical centers

100 selected by the board to participate in accordance with the guidelines and protocols

101 developed by the board. Such guidelines and protocols shall be designed to ensure that

102 stringent security and record-keeping requirements for research drugs are met and that

103 participants in the program meet those research standards necessary to establish empirical

104 bases for the evaluation of marijuana cannabis as a medically recognized therapeutic

105 substance. The board shall promulgate such rules and regulations as it deems necessary

106 or advisable to administer the program. In promulgating such guidelines, protocols, rules,

107 and regulations, the board shall may take into consideration those pertinent rules and

108 regulations promulgated by the Federal United States Drug Enforcement Agency

109 Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institute on Drug

110 Abuse.

111 (b) The program shall be limited to patients who are certified to the board by a physician

112 selected academic medical center as being:

113 (1) Cancer patients involved in a life-threatening situation in which treatment by

114 chemotherapy or radiology has produced severe side effects; or

115 (2) Glaucoma patients who are not responding to conventional controlled substances; or

116 (3) Seizure disorder patients.

117 (c) No patient may be admitted to the program without full disclosure by the physician

118 academic medical center of the experimental nature of the program and of the possible

119 risks and side effects of the proposed treatment.

120 (d) The cost of any blood test required by the federal Food and Drug Administration prior

121 to entrance into the program shall be paid by the patient or through the program, donated

122 study funds, or funding seeking entrance into the program.

123 (e) Only the following persons shall have access to the names and other identifying

124 characteristics of patients in the program for whom marijuana cannabis has been prescribed

125 under this article:

126 (1) The board;

127 (2) The review board created by Code Section 43-34-124;

128 (3) The Attorney General or his or her designee;

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129 (4) Any person directly connected with the program who has a legitimate need for the

130 information; and

131 (5) Any federal agency having responsibility for the program;

132 (6) Any academic medical center operating a program under this article; and

133 (7) Any patient program participant’s attending physician.

134 43-34-124.

135 (a) The board shall appoint the Patient Qualification Review Board. Each member of the

136 review board shall be approved for such membership by a majority vote of the board and

137 shall serve at the pleasure of the board. The review board shall be composed of:

138 (1) A board certified physician in ophthalmology;

139 (2) A board certified physician in surgery;

140 (3) A board certified physician in internal medicine and medical oncology;

141 (4) A board certified physician in psychiatry;

142 (5) A board certified physician in radiology; and

143 (6) A pharmacist licensed under Chapter 4 of Title 26, relating to pharmacists, pharmacy,

144 and drugs;

145 (7) A board certified physician in pediatric neurology;

146 (8) A board certified physician in pain management; and

147 (9) A board certified pediatric epitologist.

148 (b) The review board shall elect from its members a chairperson and a vice chairperson.

149 The review board shall hold regular meetings at least once every 60 days and shall meet

150 at such additional times as shall be called by the chairperson of the review board or the

151 chairperson of the board. Each member of the review board shall receive for services for

152 each day’s attendance upon meetings of such board the same amount authorized by law for

153 members of the General Assembly for attendance upon meetings of the General Assembly.

154 (c) The board shall adopt such rules and regulations as it deems necessary for the

155 performance of the duties of the review board.

156 (d) The review board: shall review all patient applicants for the program and their

157 physicians and shall certify those qualified for participation in the program. The review

158 board shall additionally certify pharmacies which are licensed by the state and which are

159 otherwise qualified and certify physicians regarding the distribution of marijuana pursuant

160 to Code Section 43-34-125. Meetings of the review board to certify patients, physicians,

161 or pharmacies shall not be open to the public, as otherwise required by Chapter 14 of Title

162 50

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163 (1) Shall review, evaluate, and rate applications for medical cannabis use programs

164 submitted by academic medical centers based on the procedures and guidelines

165 established by the board;

166 (2) Shall develop request applications for programs;

167 (3) Shall approve or deny applications for programs, approve or deny applications for

168 renewal of such programs, and monitor and oversee programs approved for operation

169 under this article;

170 (4) May rescind approval of a program if the board finds that the program is not in

171 compliance with the conditions of approval established by the board;

172 (5) Shall set application fees and renewal fees that cover its expenses in reviewing and

173 approving applications and providing oversight to programs; and

174 (6) May accept any gifts, donations, contributions, grants, bequests of funds or property,

175 or other funds.

176 43-34-125.

177 (a) The board An academic medical center operating a program approved under this article

178 shall apply to contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse for receipt of marijuana

179 cannabis pursuant to this article and pursuant to regulations promulgated by the National

180 Institute on Drug Abuse, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Federal United States

181 Drug Enforcement Agency Administration or obtain such cannabis, cannabinoid, or any

182 other derivative, compound, or substantially similar products from any available source.

183 (b) The board shall cause marijuana approved for use in the program to be transferred to

184 a certified pharmacy, licensed by the state, for distribution to the certified patient by a

185 licensed pharmacist upon a written order for research medication of the certified physician,

186 pursuant to this article. Any reasonable costs incurred by the board in obtaining or testing

187 marijuana shall be charged to participating physicians who may seek reimbursement from

188 their research subjects utilizing the marijuana. Upon receipt of the research cannabis, its

189 extracts, compounds, or derivatives, or any other substantially similar product, the

190 academic medical center shall test the specifications of such product. Upon completion of

191 its testing of such product, the academic medical center shall notify the Georgia Drugs and

192 Narcotics Agency.

193 (c) Upon notification by the academic medical center, the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics

194 Agency shall take possession of the research product acquired under subsection (a) of this

195 Code section and retain such product until such time as the product shall be distributed by

196 the agency to the academic medical center.

197 (d) The Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency shall establish rules and regulations for the

198 storing and distributing of the research cannabis.

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199 43-34-126.

200 Patient participants in the program are immune from state prosecution for possession of

201 marijuana as authorized by this article and under the program established in this article.

202 A person authorized under this program shall not possess an amount of marijuana in excess

203 of the amount prescribed under the authority of this article. The amount prescribed shall

204 be maintained in the container in which it was placed at the time the prescription was filled.

205 Physician, pharmacy, and pharmacist participants in the program are immune from state

206 prosecution for possession, distribution, and any other use of marijuana, which use is

207 authorized such persons by this article. Any such possession, distribution, or other use not

208 authorized by this article shall be enforced and punished as provided in Chapter 13 of Title

209 16, relating to controlled substances and dangerous drugs, and Chapter 4 of Title 26,

210 relating to pharmacists and pharmacies.

211 (a) The academic medical center operating a program approved under this article shall

212 report annually or more frequently as the board deems necessary to the board in a manner

213 specified by the board that includes the following:

214 (1) The number of patients served through the program and their county of residence;

215 (2) The conditions treated under the program; and

216 (3) Any outcome data on the results of the treatment through the program.

217 (b) An academic medical center operating a program approved under this article shall

218 apply annually to the board for renewal of approval of the program, in accordance with

219 procedures established by the board.

220 (c) An academic medical center operating a program under this article is subject to

221 inspection by the board to ensure that the program is operating according to the conditions

222 of approval established by the board.

223 43-34-127.

224 Any of the following persons acting in accordance with the provisions of this article shall

225 not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or any civil or administrative penalty, including a civil

226 penalty or disciplinary action by a professional licensing board, or be denied any right or

227 privilege, for the medical use, prescription, administration, manufacture, or distribution of

228 medical cannabis:

229 (1) A patient enrolled in a program approved under this article who is in possession of

230 an amount of cannabis authorized under the program or such patient’s caregiver, parent,

231 or guardian; or

232 (2) An academic medical center, an employee of an academic medical center, or any

233 other person associated with the operation of a program approved under this article for

234 activities conducted in accordance with the program approved under this article.

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235 43-34-128.

236 A state employee is eligible for reimbursement for incurred counsel fees under Code

237 Section 45-12-26 in the event of a federal criminal investigation or prosecution solely

238 related to the employee’s good faith discharge of public responsibilities under this article.”

239 SECTION 3.

240 All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Georgia HB 885 – Haleigh’s Hope Act

Click the above link to read the proposed bill in its entirety.

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