Georgia’s key leaders have launched a program providing the state’s 15,000 registered patients with medical marijuana seven months after the Governor approved the program.
Licensing for companies seeking to grow and sell medical marijuana oil would be granted by a seven-member commission, which was appointed by Governor Kemp, House Speaker David Ralston, and Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan.
According to Georgia state laws, marijuana oil can be used to treat Parkinson’s disease, severe seizures, and terminal cancer as well as other ailments.
In 2019, the state of Georgia enacted a law called Georgia’s Hope Act, which allowed the commission to develop a medical marijuana distribution system across the state and establish testing regulations. It also issued licenses to businesses seeking to sell cannabis oil with low levels of THC.
Governor Kemp said that the Act provides Georgia residents with a means of treating chronic and debilitating illnesses.
The Georgia Access to Medical Marijuana Commission (GAMM) is made up of three doctors, chief of police, a health policy professor, the president of the Board of Pharmacy in Georgia, and a small business owner. Dr. Edwards is the principal surgeon for the Atlanta Neurosurgical & Spine Institute and the chairman of GAMM.
It will take a while before the rules are passed, permits are granted, and cultivation and sale of medical marijuana products begins. Thrower, who suffers from muscle spasms and chronic pain, said that patients have waited for a long time and cannot wait any longer.
For two and a half years since moving from Illinois, Thrower has been receiving medical marijuana through illegal channels to manage her symptoms. She noted that she wants legal and consistent means of getting medical marijuana.
Thrower volunteers with a group that helps people with disabilities. She said that the government should consider the needs of the patients when implementing the medical marijuana program.
The state vetted more than 50 candidates before naming the members of the commission. The medical marijuana laws on appointing the members of the commission were stringent. One of the rules stipulated that the members of the commission are not supposed to harbor a monetary interest in the marijuana industry during the four-year appointment period and five years after their period has elapsed.
A former state representative Allen Peake said that he expected the commission to include parents with patients suffering from the qualifying conditions.
According to Georgia’s medical marijuana bill, licenses for cultivation would be issued for up to 9 acres of indoor growing space.
The commission will issue medical marijuana cultivation licenses to two large corporations and four smaller companies. Also, the University of Georgia and Fort Valley State University will submit applications for the production of cannabis oil.
The commission would allow the sale of marijuana with less than 5% THC. Compared to CBD oil which has 0.3% of THC, medical marijuana oil has more THC at 5%.
Experts opine that cannabis industry actors like The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. (TSX.V: FIRE) (OTCQX: SPRWF) and HTC Extraction Systems (TSX.V: HTC) hope that now that a commission is in place, patients in the state will not wait very long to start accessing medical marijuana for their symptoms.
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