News from Rep. Pam Dickerson | Georgia House District 113
February 25, 2015
Rep. Pam Dickerson

I was pleased this week to have successfully amended legislation in the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The Hailey's Hope Act, which would authorize the use of medical cannabis for treatment of certain conditions, was approved by House members Wednesday (see full article below).

Also this week, legislation I introduced, the End to Cyberbullying Act, will be heard by the House Education Committee.

Please feel free to contact me with your views on the issues facing our state, or whenever I can be of service. Thank you for allowing me to continue to serve you in the Georgia General Assembly.

Rep. Pam Dickerson 

Rep. Dickerson, along with Rep. Dave Belton, makes a presentation from the well of the House of Representatives.

Rep. Dickerson and Speaker David Ralston thank Azia Mitchell for her service as a page in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Dickerson and Speaker Ralston thank Eric Oh for serving as a House page.

Rep. Dickerson congratulates Mary Long of Atlanta, who was honored with a resolution recognizing her many years of service as a healthcare professional, Capitol lobbyist for medical and equality issues and distinction as the first African-American President of the Georgia Nurses Association.
Georgia State Capitol
House overwhelmingly approves  
medical cannabis legislation 


The Georgia House of Representatives voted 157-2 on Wednesday to approve the Haleigh's Hope Act, that would authorize the use of medical cannabis to treat certain conditions.


After being amended in the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee (including one amendment by Rep. Pam Dickerson) and on the House floor, HB 1 would provide immunity for the possession of cannabis oil for individuals with certain medical conditions who have obtained cannabis oil legally in another state. 

Qualifying conditions under HB 1 include Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Seizure disorders, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, mitochondrial disease, sickle cell disease, and Fibromyalgia. These individuals would only be allowed to possess cannabis oil with a maximum of 5 percent THC and a maximum amount of 20 fluid ounces of cannabis oil.

HB 1 would also require that potential patients register with the Georgia Department of Public Health and be placed on the "Low-THC Oil Patient Registry."  These individuals will receive a registration card that exempts them from prosecution in Georgia for possession of medical cannabis oil that has been legally obtained in another state and meets the aforementioned requirements.


The bill also creates the Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis which will be charged with making a recommendation for the potential regulatory infrastructure for creation of in-state growth/distribution model of medical cannabis. The commission must make its recommendation to the Governor and General Assembly by December 2015. The members of the commission will include the director of the Governor's Office for Children and Families, the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the director of the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency, the commissioner of agriculture, the Governor's executive counsel, members of the General Assembly, medical professionals, law enforcement officials, and pharmacists.


HB 1 now goes to the Senate for its consideration. 

Amended FY 2015 budget finalized 

The House and Senate have reached final agreement on midyear amendments to the state budget for the current fiscal year, which runs through June 30. As adjusted, the $21.1 billion total budget for fiscal year 2015 now goes to Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature.


Additional funding in HB 75, the supplemental budget legislation, includes $126 million to local school districts to account for enrollment growth; $49.5 million for increases in Medicaid reimbursements; $40 million for economic development grants; $35 million for expanded Internet connectivity in the public schools; $6.2 million for 103 new child welfare case workers; $4.9 million for medical cannabis trials at Georgia Regents University; $648,000 to establish the Georgia Film Academy to expand the potential workforce for the state's growing film industry; and $203,000 for a charter school to help prison inmates earn high school diplomas.


HB 75 also includes language calling for the Department of Community Health to study ways to continue providing health insurance coverage for part-time school employees, including bus drivers and cafeteria workers. Legislative budget writers now turn their full attention to the proposed $21.8 annual budget for fiscal year 2016, which begins July 1.


Legislation clears way for Port of Savannah funding


The House and Senate have approved legislation that would remove a potential legal barrier to Georgia's ability to receive federal funds for the deepening of the Savannah Harbor, which is seen as a vital project for the state's economic future.


SB 5 would authorize the Georgia Ports Authority to legally indemnify the federal government when it distributes its $430 million share of the $700 million project, which is aimed at increasing the number of products shipped to and from Georgia businesses via the Savannah port.


The project, which began last month and is scheduled for completion in 2020, will deepen the Savannah River by five feet to allow the port to accommodate larger container ships. The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature.


House members also approved and sent to the Senate:

  • HB 47, which would authorize certain prescription drug refills of topical ophthalmic products under certain conditions.
  • HB 52, which would change provisions in the state's child custody law to require parenting plans to be incorporated into final custody orders.
  • HB 100, which would change the enrollment age eligibility date for school children from Sept. 1 to Aug. 1 for the 2017-2018 school year and July 1 starting in 2018-2019. Students would have to be 5 years old by those dates in order to enroll in kindergarten.
  • HB 119, which would allow a probate judge who has signed an "order to apprehend" an ill or suicidal person to disclose to law enforcement officers if that person has HIV or AIDS.
  • HB 160, which would allow the trapping of raccoons in eight Georgia counties where the practice is currently prohibited.
  • HB 162, which would which would provide for insurance compliance self-evaluative privilege to protect the confidentiality of communications in order to encourage insurance companies to conduct voluntary audits.
  • HB 172, which would amend Georgia's "boating under the influence" law so that it would not apply to a person on a homemade or inflatable raft.
  • HB 198, which would require annual suicide prevention education training for certified school system personnel. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 10 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rep. Dickerson's Legislation
Recent action on legislation sponsored or co-sponsored by Rep. Pam Dickerson:

HB 379 Porterdale, City of; Redevelopment Powers Law; provide referendum (approved by House, referred to Senate State & Local Governmental Operations Committee)

Click here for all of Rep. Dickerson's 2015-2016 legislation.

Contact Rep. Dickerson
At the Capitol:
611-E Coverdell Legislative Office Building, Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone 404-656-0314
In the District:
P.O. Box 1016, Conyers, GA 30013
Phone 678-207-6043