The Georgia Entry to Medical Hashish Fee voted unanimously to award medical marijuana licenses to 6 firms on the Walker County Civic Middle on Saturday, July 24, 2021. MARK NIESSE / MARK.NIESSE@AJC.COM
Firms can have one 12 months to start operations after contracts are signed following potential protests from dropping bidders, offering for sufferers affected by situations together with seizures, terminal cancers and Parkinson’s illness.
Two firms received licenses to domesticate medical marijuana oil on 100,000 sq. ft of indoor rising house: Trulieve GA Inc., an affiliate of Florida-based Trulieve Hashish Corp., and Botanical Sciences LLC, a enterprise situated in Glennville in South Georgia.
4 firms shall be licensed to function smaller manufacturing amenities with 50,000 sq. ft of rising room: FFD GA Holdings, TheraTrue Georgia LLC, Natures GA LLC and Treevana Treatment Inc.
The fee scored every enterprise based mostly on standards set in a state law creating the hashish oil manufacturing program in 2019. Companies submitted plans for manufacturing, enterprise operations, amenities and seed-to-sale monitoring. The highest-scoring companies received Georgia’s licenses.
Commissioners mentioned they hope firms will have the ability to shortly start operations to supply low THC oil for ready sufferers. The profitable firms had been introduced in Rock Spring in northwest Georgia as a part of the fee’s dedication to journey throughout the state and never simply deal with metro Atlanta.
“The sufferers are No. 1 in Georgia. If we will present them what we’d like as shortly as we will, that’s what our job is,” mentioned Austell Police Chief Bob Starrett.
Jessica Reid of Atlanta says the approval of medical marijuana oil licenses will assist her legally acquire low THC oil for her 4-year-old son, Emmanuel, who suffers from seizures. Reid attended the assembly of the Georgia Entry to Medical Hashish Fee on the Walker County Civic Middle on Saturday, July 24, 2021. MARK NIESSE / MARK.NIESSE@AJC.COM
After extended debates within the Capitol, a collection of payments passed into regulation and a licensing course of that started a 12 months and a half in the past, Georgia will quickly have a functioning marijuana program. Till now, sufferers have obtained low THC oil illegally or by touring to different states.
“We’re lastly at a second the place we will transfer ahead with honoring the subsequent step on this course of,” mentioned Judith Rochon, a psychiatrist for Kaiser Permanente Behavioral Well being Division and a member of the fee.
When the drug begins to be bought at dispensaries, solely registered sufferers shall be allowed to purchase it. Sufferers will have the ability to acquire medical marijuana oil in the event that they endure from a number of situations described in Georgia regulation, obtain approval from a physician and apply for a low THC oil registration card from the Georgia Division of Public Well being.
The variety of medical marijuana producers may develop sooner or later.
Fee Chairman Christopher Edwards, principal surgeon at Atlanta Neurological & Backbone Institute, mentioned he’ll ask the Georgia Basic Meeting to approve an extra two to 4 licenses.
State legislators initially restricted the variety of licenses as a part of a compromise between Home and Senate leaders who had struggled to strike a stability between offering entry to authentic sufferers whereas stopping unlawful marijuana distribution.
“The sufferers of Georgia should have entry to a medication they’re signed up for with the Division of Public Well being,” mentioned J’Lyn Furby of American Kinetics, a public relations agency that focuses on compliance within the hashish trade. “This historic day within the state of Georgia goes to alleviate households of the danger to their livelihoods of bringing in medical hashish oil.”
The subsequent steps within the medical marijuana program shall be finalizing contracts with the six profitable firms, then beginning operations subsequent 12 months.