On April 26, a milestone in Georgia's medical marijuana program was reached when the state commission approved licenses for five dispensaries across the Peach State. Pooler will soon join Macon and Marietta as one of the first three cities to welcome these new cannabis businesses with two additional storefronts planned for Savannah. Allowing patients access to life-improving treatments is essential to helping those suffering from serious ailments that can be assisted by medicinal marijuana use.
Patients and caregivers in the Pooler area will soon have access to medical cannabis, with a dispensary operated by Botanical Sciences set to open near the Interstate 16-Pooler Parkway interchange this July. Those who possess both a Low-THC Oil Registry card from the Georgia Department of Public Health as well as a photo ID can purchase medical marijuana for approved conditions such as seizures, Parkinson's disease, or terminal cancers upon approval from their physician.
Georgia's burgeoning medical cannabis industry is rapidly expanding, as the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission (GAMCC) has granted licenses to Botanical Sciences and Trulieve. These companies now have 120 days in which they can open up a maximum of six dispensaries each.
Botanical Sciences is making history as Georgia's first medical cannabis provider that was founded by physicians. The company has plans to open several dispensaries in metro Atlanta and across the entire state.
Trulieve will have a location opening later this year at 2003 Pooler Parkway, along with dispensaries that opened at the end of April in Macon and Marietta.
In 2015, Georgia legalized the possession of up to 20 fluid ounces of medical marijuana oil. This low-THC oil contains no more than 5% THC, however, until recently it had been impossible for patients to legally purchase the product. Now that dispensary licenses have been issued, Georgians can start having access to this medicine safely and securely.
In 2019, Georgia state law underwent a monumental shift as the General Assembly passed House Bill 324. This groundbreaking legislation permitted private companies and academic institutions to cultivate, manufacture, analyze, and distribute medical marijuana through licensed channels - an endeavor made possible with the formation of GAMCC for regulatory oversight. Dubbed "Georgia's Hope Act," this sweeping bill proved instrumental in increasing access to medicinal cannabis products throughout the state.
In what has been a hotly contested industry, Trulieve and Botanical Sciences were two of the fortunate few to obtain Class 1 Production Licenses. However, seventy other companies received crushing news as their applications for licenses have been denied - leading sixteen rejected producers to take legal action against the licensing process they deem unfair or even arbitrary in nature.
Following the issuance of licenses to grow, process and sell medical marijuana oil in South Georgia, two major players have sprouted up. Trulieve has set roots down in Adel while Botanical Sciences is flourishing its greenhouse out of Tattnall County - a mere 65 miles west of Chatham County.
In stark contrast to other U.S states, Georgia's medical cannabis law is highly restrictive according to the GAMCC – banning not only growing and possession of marijuana in plant, buds, or leaf form but also prohibiting production, sale, or ingestion of food products infused with low-THC oil as well as inhaling such oils through smoking or vaping. Furthermore, physicians cannot prescribe marijuana for medicinal purposes either; recreational use remains strictly prohibited throughout the state.
The awarding of production licenses to Botanical Sciences and Trulieve marks an important milestone in Georgia's medical marijuana program. These two companies have taken the lead in providing access to life-improving treatments for those suffering from serious ailments, contributing significantly towards improving healthcare outcomes across the Peach State.
With more dispensaries opening up soon, Georgians can now purchase this medicine safely and securely through licensed channels. This is a clear testament to how far we've come since House Bill 324 was passed - paving the way for greater access to medicinal cannabis products throughout Georgia.