Georgia’s Access to Medical Cannabis Commission will vote on which growers it will award licenses to on Saturday. The vote could allow for the sale of medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana patients throughout the state have grown frustrated with the slow pace at which the licenses are moving along.
In 2017, Republican former Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill into law legalizing low-potency marijuana oil for people with severe chronic illnesses.
“The next step is to issue what is known as a ‘Notice Of Intent to Award’ the license contracts,” said Andrew Turnage, executive director of Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission.
“Within 12 months, we will have access to medicine that is cultivated, that is made and produced here in Georgia and will be sold on shelves,” said Joshua Littrell, founder of Veterans for Cannabis.
Littrell said from the moment the licenses are issued, growers have a year to build a facility and begin producing the low-THC oil. Littrell’s organization also has an application for a license submitted.
“Right now, patients have to go to the unregulated market to get medicine if they want to get relief,” said Alexis Harris, who had a medical marijuana card for PTSD, but let it expire because she cannot use it.
Harris said the wait causes some patients suffering from chronic illnesses to look elsewhere.
“There’s people who have had to move out of state, to Las Vegas, to Florida, to neighboring states where they won’t be criminals to take their medicine,” Harris said.
Harris said she is glad that patients will have somewhere else to go other than the black market to get relief, but thinks the commission’s application process has created a barrier for entry for individual and small-scale cultivators, and only leaves room for multi-million dollar outfits, many of which are not local.
The meeting is scheduled for Saturday, July 24 at 11 a.m. in Rock Spring.