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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Georgia Medical Cannabis Program Rules Delayed over Technicality

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The state has been aiming to open stores for business by spring.

Georgians may have to wait a little bit longer to buy low-THC medical marijuana from dispensaries this year.

The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission gathered for a special session on Thursday to roll back a unanimous approval they made last week regarding new major rules for their medical program, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.

The commission forgot to notify the Office of Legislative Counsel about Jan. 25 meeting to pass testing, inspections, and distribution rules – a requirement explicitly outlined in the state law.

Chairman Sid Johnson said during the Thursday session that the body is “committed to conducting its business correctly and transparently, therefore we are here today to rescind the motions adopted” during the meeting.

Johnson said that the office had realized a notice of the meeting was not sent to the Office of Legislative Counsel when filings to certify the approved rules began.

The committee said it would post a meeting notice on Monday with a new date to pass the rules again. The state has been aiming to open stores for business by spring.

Georgia’s vertical medical market has been slowly crawling toward a launch for two years now, six years after a law permitted patients to consume yet didn’t allow them to buy it in the state.

The limited program is capped at six companies and only allows nonsmokable forms of low-THC marijuana (5% or less by volume). Two companies will be able to produce in 100,000 square-foot facilities – Botanical Sciences and Trulieve – while the other four are restricted to facilities half the size. All six will be allowed to open up to five dispensaries.

The rollout has had its fair share of criticism and lawsuits. Just last month, five companies who lost their bids for licenses joined forces to file suit against the state, saying that the process was corrupt.

Efforts to challenge the state’s licensing decisions has evolved since 15 of the 69 companies that applied for the six licenses filed protests over a lack of transparency in the scoring process, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported at the time.


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