Flooding in West Point and Columbus, Ga.
Last week in Georgia, rains poured. A medical marijuana bill was signed. A new Pecan king was crowned, and the federal government renamed a coastal creek to honor former slaves who sought freedom.
None of this sound familiar? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Columbus spared but other west Georgia counties hit by storms
Most of Columbus and Muscogee County was spared from storm damage Friday, but other west Georgia counties were not as lucky.
A portion of Wright Road in Troup County was completely washed away. The same swath of storms also killed two in Mississippi and another in Alabama.
There’s a chance of rain for Columbus this Friday, according to the National Weather Service’s Peachtree City office.
Read more of the Ledger’s reporting about Friday’s rain here.
Medical marijuana production bill signed
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill into law that will allow the in-state production and selling of medical marijuana oil.
The law aims to address a peculiarity that’s existed since 2015. The issue was that patients in Georgia could possess the oil but bringing it across state lines was outlawed, and in-state production was not then legal.
Up to six private businesses will be granted licenses to grow marijuana and produced low THC oil. The bill also calls for the University of Georgia and Fort Valley State to seek licenses to produce and/or manufacture medical marijuana oil.
The AJC reports it will likely take well over a year before state-sanctioned medical marijuana oil reaches the hands of patients.
New Mexico — not Georgia — lead nation in pecan production last year
Hurricane Michael destroyed large swaths of Georgia pecan crops, and cut the state’s production in half from 2017 to 2018, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Georgia still produced the second most pecans in the nation at 56 million pounds.
New Mexico propelled to the nation’s top spot. The southwestern state produced about 90 million pounds in 2018, down about two million from 2017. Georgia produced 107 million pounds in 2017.
Lenny Wells, associate professor of Horticulture with a focus on pecans at the University of Georgia, told the Carlsbad (New Mexico) Current-Argus that 17 % of Georgia’s pecan acreage was lost in the storm.
Georgia lost about $100 million in pecan crops, and $260 million in tree loss and up to $200 million in lost future income, Wells told the newspaper.
Federal government renames Runaway Negro Creek in Georgia
The United States government renamed a tidal creek on the Georgia coast that was long known as Runaway Negro Creek.
The U.S. Board on Geographic Names changed the name to Freedom Creek, reports the Savannah Morning News. A bill to change the name passed the Georgia Senate and House in 2018, the newspaper reports.
Slaves crossed the creek to escape Union-occupied islands during the Civil War seeking freedom, the newspaper reported.