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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Savannah City Council prepares for possible marijuana legalization

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SAVANA, GA (WTOC) – The Savannah City Council is preparing for a potentially big change.

The board voted at a Thursday night meeting to halt any permits related to the sale of medical marijuana.

Currently, you cannot obtain medical marijuana in Georgia. But the council says that could change any day now and they want to be prepared.

“Medical marijuana is coming to Georgia, and it is time for Savannah to be ready,” Alderman Nick Palumbo said.

Savannah City Council has voted to impose a 180-day ban on any new marijuana-related licenses. The ban does not affect CBD stores that actually sell the products.

Mayor Van Johnson says the city needs to be proactive.

“The fact of the matter is it’s coming eventually. We don’t have a local plan here,” Mayor Johnson said.

Mayor Johnson says the council should find out how they will regulate marijuana dispensaries, what type of license they will get and where they will be allowed to set up shop.

“If we don’t do anything at all, what happens is it brings us in, and then we find ourselves trying retroactively to legislate something we should have passed before,” Mayor Johnson said.

Alderman Palumbo spearheaded this new initiative. He says there is a chance the federal government will legalize marijuana nationwide, as early as this year.

“There are many different competing laws and legislation at the state and federal level, and I think it is time to open up the discussion about, if it is codified, how we are going to do that in the city,” he said. “We don’t want to get caught up in the tail, like in AirBnB, where you have a mass spread, and then you try to catch it on the back end.”

Mayor Johnson says the city is open to change and now they want to hear from Savannah residents.

“Something’s going to happen. Our world is changing. It’s moving toward more medicinal uses, and it’s moving more toward recreational uses. So, we have to figure out what that means for Savannah,” Mayor Johnson said.

There will be some opportunities for Savannah residents to meditate. We’ll let you know as soon as we find out.

We are also pursuing two government proposals for changes to Georgia’s medical marijuana law. We’ll keep you posted on these things, too.

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