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Parliament Postpones Discussing Marijuana Export Bill for Two Months

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, October 10
The Georgian parliament has made a decision to postpone discussions on the Marijuana Control Bill for two months, “until the agreement is achieved with the public”.

The bill envisages marijuana cultivation in Georgia for export purposes in medicine and cosmetics, which is expected to bring a billion into the state budget.

However, the opposition and the church went against the initiative offered by the Interior Ministry on the day the changes were announced in early September.

This was the reason the ruling team temporarily suspended discussions around the bill which reads that 10 licenses will be issued for the marijuana cultivation in Georgia and each license would cost 25,000 GEL.

The bill also reads that marijuana must be cultivated in a closed space under the strong, 24-hour control.

The Georgian Patriarchate says that they are waiting for the “withdrawal and not the temporal suspension” of the bill which is able to provide fatal consequences in the country and make Georgia “similar to Columbia”.

Georgian Interior Minister says that the bill will be discussed with the public until the consensus is achieved.

“It does not matter whether it takes two, three or four months. We will be discussing the law on cannabis until we achieve consensus with the public”, Gakharia said.

When asked if the ruling team is going to go against the Patriarchate, if no consensus is achieved, Gakharia replied: "I would like to tell you that we are not going to confront any part of the society”.

The Georgian civil sector says that the ruling team postponed the discussions on the bill due to the upcoming presidential elections.

NGOs believe that the ruling party does not want to upset the church in the election period, as it will make a negative influence on their election goals due to the church’s high rating in public.