Georgia is accepting applications for medical cannabis businesses to manufacture in the state. The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission approved the process that will grant the roughly 14,000 registered patients in the state the ability to legally obtain cannabis oil for treatment. The commission plans to issue licenses by March, meaning it could be six months to a year before the cannabis oil is available to patients.
Patients have been allowed to use medical marijuana in Georgia since 2015, but it was only last year that the General Assembly passed a bill permitting its production and sale. That law tasked the commission, which began meeting about a year ago, with creating a distribution network, establishing testing and oversight rules, and issuing licenses for businesses to sell the oil.
“We just want to keep the patients in the forefront,” said Commission Chairman Dr. Christopher Edwards. “And the longer this process goes on, the longer the time it takes for patients to receive help.”
Under the law, six companies will be licensed to cultivate the medical cannabis for state, which can have no more than five percent THC. The two types of licenses, Class 1 and Class 2, are awarded based on the size of the facility. The commission will award two Class 1 licenses (100,000-square-foot facility) and four Class 2 (50,000-square foot facility).
Applicants will need to provide a security plan that demonstrates 24/7 security, establishes electronic video monitoring and use of keycards to log employee and visitor access. The application also requires a seed-to-sale tracking to keep tabs on the product’s location throughout production.
Additionally, applicants will also need to provide, among other plans and documents, a financial plan, additional facility information, ownership structure, production plan, business operations plan, and information regarding local government support.
Applications became available on November 23, 2020, and applicants have until 2 p.m. on December 28, 2020, to submit their applications. The applications can be found on the state’s website here. Licenses are expected to be issued by March 2021.
The commission will next establish regulations for the state to grant licenses to oil dispensaries.