Deal offers path forward on cannabis oil treatment

Gov. Nathan Deal last week said he plotted a path forward for the safe and legal use of cannabis oil by Georgia children suffering from epileptic disorders.

The governor also announced that he and the Department of Human Services will launch pilot projects for public-private partnerships in the state’s foster care system.

Deal has consulted with the federal Food and Drug Administration on how the state can begin legal clinical trials with cannabis oil products at Georgia Regents University Augusta.

“So far we have identified two tracks worthy of pursuit,” Deal said in a statement. “Our most promising solution involves pairing GRU with a private pharmaceutical company that has developed a purified liquid cannabinoid currently in the FDA testing phase. The product contains no THC, which is the component in marijuana that intoxicates a user. The university would create a well-designed trial for children with epileptic disorders, and in order to serve as many children as we can, we would like to pursue a statewide investigational new drug program through a multicenter study that would allow GRU to partner with other research facilities across the state. We have talked with the pharmaceutical company to gauge interest, and the company is willing to continue those initial talks.

“Georgia will also possibly pursue a second clinical trial at GRU that would use cannabidiol oil obtained from cannabis product grown by the National Institute on Drug Abuse at its farm located at the University of Mississippi. This road would perhaps take more time because it would require GRU to work through an approval process with NIDA and the FDA,” Deal added. “We do not see these options as mutually exclusive, and we’re looking to move forward on both options at this time.”

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