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State Rep Allen Peake
State Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, filed a bill at the state Capitol in Atlanta on Wednesday that, if approved, would allow medical cannabis cultivation by a handful of growers in Georgia. MAGGIE LEE

ATLANTA — State Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, who has led a push for medical marijuana in Georgia, is starting the year with a plan to plant cannabis seeds in Georgia.

Peake wants the state to issue up to six licenses for medical cannabis cultivators in Georgia. Wednesday morning, he filed House Bill 722, a 24-page bill that includes the proposal. It’s modeled on Minnesota’s medical marijuana law. In Minnesota, greenhouses have tighter security than casinos, Peake said.

There, growers are supposed to track every cannabis seed, plant and bottle of medicine. Peake, who wants the same in Georgia, hopes that will satisfy his toughest critics: law enforcement.

During this past summer’s hearings on medical cannabis, the director of the GBI as well as some sheriffs and district attorneys testified that they thought growing medical marijuana in the state was a bad idea. One of their worries is that some growers might try to use medicine as a cover to grow or sell illegal recreational marijuana.

But Peake thinks it’s possible and appropriate to draw a strong wall around medicinal cannabis. He wants to make sure law enforcement can track what goes on inside the proposed greenhouses.

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“They’re only going to have to go to a handful of places anywhere in the state to inspect a facility,” said Peake. “Anybody else growing marijuana in the state is going to get thrown in jail.”

The legislative session begins Monday.

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