For several years now, Georgia has been moving toward permitting medical cannabis sales in Georgia. In 2015, Haleigh’s Hope Act was signed into law, which allowed possession by qualifying patients of low THC oil, a form of medical cannabis, but notably the Act did not provide a means for those patients to obtain the oil.
Then in 2019, the state enacted what was called Georgia’s Hope Act, which established the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission and tasked it with awarding production licenses to a limited number of companies, 6 in all–2 Class 1 licenses (for 100,000 sq. ft. of growing capacity) and 4 Class 2 licenses (for 50,000 sq. ft. of growing capacity). These companies would be authorized to produce the low THC oil in Georgia. The Commission began accepting applications from companies in November of 2020 and closed the application process on January 27, 2021.
On July 24, 2021, the Commission announced its intended awardees, but several of the companies that were not selected filed protests shortly thereafter challenging the selection process. The protests prevented licenses from being awarded until September 16, 2021, when a state Administrative Law Judge issued final decisions denying the protests. Litigation appealing these decisions further prevented the Commission from issuing the Class 2 licenses, but on September 21, 2022, the Commission awarded the Class 1 licenses to Trulieve GA, Inc. and Botanical Sciences, LLC.
The final steps for medical cannabis sales to begin in Georgia are currently underway. The Commission published its proposed regulations on December 16, 2022 and has a meeting scheduled for January 25, 2023 to vote to adopt the regulations. If and once adopted, the Commission can then award dispensing licenses, at which time sales of low THC oil can begin. Because dispensing licenses will be given to companies already with a production license, dispensing should begin quickly.
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