HB1425 Fails to Pass in Senate, Georgia Medical Marijuana Program Still on Hold
Georgia’s long awaited medical marijuana program that would put low-THC cannabis oil in the hands of patients remains stalled after the Senate failed to pass HB1425, a bill that would have expedited the program.
Georgia approved its program in 2016, though lawsuits, delays, and debates have caused the program to remain on hold.
In 2021, when cultivator licenses were approved, a lawsuit was filed by applicants who were denied cultivation licenses, claiming that there were no regulations on how applicants were picked, and that favoritism and possibly bribery was involved.
Now, a motion to table the bill that would have allowed Georgia’s program to get up and running has been effectively sent to the grave, causing Georgia’s medical marijuana program to remain on hold until the ongoing lawsuit is processed.
HB1425 Would Have Sped Up Georgia Medical Marijuana, Now Timeline is Unknown
HB1425 & Georgia’s Failure to Pass
HB1425 was a critical bill that could have expedited the medical marijuana program in Georgia, which aimed to produce and sell low-THC cannabis oil or hemp oil to a patients that were diagnosed with a handful of different conditions.
After several years of legislative sludge, cultivator licenses were approved under suspicious circumstances, where hefty donations were made to the governor’s office from winners shortly after their approval, alongside the approval process for licenses being largely in the dark.
The main issue arises when looking at Georgia’s limited number of licenses, only 6 of the many applicants were approved, under criteria that Georgia’s Access to Cannabis Commission kept private.
Lawsuit Over Georgia Medical Marijuana Licenses Will Drag On
HB1425 aimed to bypass the delays that the medical marijuana program is experiencing from the lawsuit by allowing applicants to re-apply without paying any additional fees and required the State to begin producing or acquiring the hemp oil by August 1st.
The bill made it through the House with a 169-5 vote but managed to be tabled 28-27 in the Senate. Without significant changes to Georgia’s legislative approach with medical marijuana, the State won’t be able to move forward with licensing the cultivators who were previously approved.
Now, the State will return to engaging with the ongoing lawsuit and the medical marijuana program will remain on hold until those proceedings are handled.
Once the proceedings are finalized, cultivators will be able to resume construction on facilities, which will eventually lead to the production and sale of low-THC cannabis oil in Georgia, though the whole process doesn’t seem to be coming anywhere close to an end.
What Will Happen to Georgia’s Medical Marijuana Program Now?
Lawsuits Will Continue Delays, Which Could Take Years
In some normal reality, legislators would quickly utilize their ability to adjust and expedite the medical marijuana program like HB1425 had intended, though Georgia’s history with fumbling cannabis makes that an unlikely outcome for the foreseeable future.
The lawsuit that the Cannabis Commission is engaged with is quite serious and could take years to clear through. It’s not uncommon for lawsuits and court cases to drag on for indefinite amounts of time, and with a state agency involved, it’s not likely to be any different.
The medical marijuana program will remain on hold until those proceedings are finalized because the applicants who were approved won’t be able to begin producing low-THC cannabis oil until the licenses are handled and legal.
When Will Georgia See Medical Marijuana?
Medical cannabis products are still a far cry for Georgia.
The low-THC cannabis program in the State is considerably weak to begin with, essentially offering cannabis-derived hemp oil (or CBD oil) with minimal amounts of THC with only a small number of conditions approved for its use.
Products like these can have tremendous value for many different conditions, and CBD is associated with many medicinal benefits to things like seizures and anxiety, though it would be tough to consider Georgia’s approach anything that would resemble a medical marijuana program.
The best-case scenario would be for Georgia to completely reconstruct its idea of what medical marijuana is in the Peach State, though legislators have been hesitant to approach any changes while serious allegations about bribery or monopolies are floating around.
We hope Georgia takes a step back to revisit medical marijuana with a different approach, though it might be a while before the legislative red tape gets cut through.
Get Your Georgia Marijuana Card
While Georgia’s medical marijuana program is currently stalled, there are ways that legislators could speed up the process and get medical marijuana into the hands of patients. When the program resumes, patients will be able to register for Georgia’s low-THC cannabis registry and purchase medical cannabis.
We will be processing medical marijuana certifications as soon as the system is live for Georgia patients.
Reserve your appointment today and get $25 off when we start processing applications!
Feel free to give us a call at (866) 781-5606, and we can help answer your questions about getting medical marijuana in Georgia