ATLANTA – Wednesday August 26, 2015, The Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis held its second meeting. The meeting included presentations from four manufacturers of medical cannabis from other states who discussed the best regulatory structure for in-state growth and distribution models.
State Representative Dee Dawkins-Haigler, Chair of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus has more of a concern with the idea that there were not much minority presence through the process.
“Georgia currently has a population of 30 percent African Americans and are not represented anywhere on the commission,” she said. “Where my concern lies is the fact that there is a large disparity on how information is given to the African American community including physicians, legislatures and patients. There are many reputable African American physicians and other medical professionals here in our state. The black caucus of this state will not support an effort that does not provide inclusion of minorities in the process that also affects us as a whole.”
Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, gave some statistics on the recent registry of those in the state.
“We currently have 166 doctors registered, 190 Patients, and 222 registered with the card.” Dr. Fitzgerald says. “Now there may be more cards registered because parents or caregivers may apply for additional cards with their child. Currently most of our cases [45 percent] are children from ranging from 0-17.”
Rep. Dawkins-Haigler is currently discussing the possibility of a Minority Committee on Medical Cannabis to bring awareness to the community on how to effectively help the African American community who is being underserved through this initiative.
Note: The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus is the largest state black caucus in the nation with a membership of sixty-one state legislators representing over 3 million people.