On October 11, 2023, the Supreme Court of Georgia denied the Georgia First Amendment Foundation (GFAF)’s petition for writ of certiorari, which sought to have the Court unseal records concerning Georgia’s application process for awarding licenses to companies permitting them to produce low THC oil, a form of medical cannabis, in Georgia.
The Supreme Court did not publish an opinion for its denial of GFAF’s petition. However, the judgment that was issued noted that all but two of the Justices concurred with the decision to deny the petition. Justices Charlie Bethel and John Ellington dissented, while Justice Nels Peterson did not participate in the decision. The docket for this matter, which includes the judgment entered, can be accessed here.
Underlying the decision is O.C.G.A. § 16-12-220, which states that the “working papers, recorded information, documents, and copies produced by, obtained by, or disclosed to the [Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission] . . . shall be confidential data and shall not be subject to” Georgia’s Open Records Act unless published by the Commission.
The Supreme Court’s decision not to grant GFAF’s petition effectively affirms an order issued by the Georgia Court of Appeals denying GFAF’s initial appeal after a trial court denied its motion to unseal the records at issue.
Some of the companies that were not awarded licenses to produce the low THC oil continue to pursue litigation seeking to undue the decisions denying them a license.
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