Nearly a decade after lawmakers initially enacted legislation recognizing the utility of low-THC/high-CBD cannabis extracts, a state regulatory commission has issued licenses to the state’s first-ever legal providers of plant-derived medicinal cannabis products.
On Wednesday, members of the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission granted a total of five licenses to a pair of medical cannabis providers. Their dispensaries will operate in Cobb County, Bibb County, and Chatham County. Two of the five dispensaries are anticipated to open their doors to the public later today.
“For almost ten years, patients and their providers have lacked the ability to locally access these medically necessary state-approved products from state-licensed retailers,” NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “Hopefully, their wait is finally over.”
Georgia lawmakers in 2015 passed legislation allowing qualified patients to possess cannabis plant-derived extracts containing CBD and no more than 5 percent THC, but it failed to provide a legal source for CBD/THC products.
In 2021, lawmakers passed additional legislation that sought to permit up to 30 state-licensed retailers of high-CBD/low-THC oil products. However, following the initial selection process, several applicants sued the state – resulting in undue delays in the law’s implementation.
“The dispensing licenses issued today are just the beginning,” executive director of the GMCC, Andrew Turnage said. “As more dispensaries become licensed, more patients will be reached at locations throughout the state.”
A sixth license will be issued when the registry reaches over 25,000 patients and additional licenses are issued for every 10,000 patients.
Approximately 25,000 Georgians are registered with the state to access high-CBD/low-THC oil products for a variety of ailments, including autism, cancer, Crohn’s disease, seizure disorders, and Tourette’s syndrome.
A summary of Georgia’s medical access law is available from NORML.