New Bill Aims to Unjam Medical Marijuana Program in Georgia
Georgia’s medical marijuana program has been backed up ever since cultivators who weren’t chosen for cultivation licenses began petitioning. This led to a large debacle over the confusing and unclear processes for how the Georgia marijuana commission chose the winners.
Currently the state medical marijuana program is at a standstill, while patients are patiently awaiting the arrival of the low-THC cannabis oil promised in 2019.
Now, a new bill introduced to the House aims to change that by pivoting Georgia away from the cannabis commission and revamping the program with more licenses granted to cultivators.
Bill Introduced to Get Georgia’s Medical Marijuana Program Up and Running
Move Past the Legal Complications to Get Companies Running
The real heart of House Bill 1400 is a move to give licenses to the 16 companies who lost their bids for a cultivation license under the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission’s lottery system.
This would make the total number of cultivators in Georgia 22 instead of only 6.
This would also allow the program to continue operations, as opposed to being on hold. Currently, legislators and lawmakers are reviewing the petitions from the companies who didn’t win their bids, which could possibly take years to process.
Getting the Medical Marijuana Program Running in Georgia
Aside from the obvious stalling that has occurred from the petitions, if there’s no significant movement, the petitions could turn into lawsuits which could put Georgia’s program on hold for quite a while.
HB1400 would expedite the installation of cultivation facilities, keeping the original 6 companies who won and adding the 16 initially denied by the commission.
It would also install an oversight committee for the Medical Cannabis Commission with appointed members by the Lieutenant Governor and two members appointed by the House of Representatives. This committee would be able to inspect production facilities.
The bill requires the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission to contract with qualified third-party consultants for evaluation material and for reviewing proposals and processes.
One of the most critical parts of HB1400 is its designation that all working papers, recorded information, documents, etc. from the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission would be subject to open record laws.
This could help prevent any further instances of secretive practices and help create the transparency needed for medical marijuana programs.
Second Bill Introduced to Speed-Up Georgia’s Medical Marijuana Program
HB1453 Aims to Match Patient Registry Numbers with Cultivation Licenses
Another bill that could pass would change how the petitioned licenses are dispensed.
HB1453 moves the Low-THC Patient Registry from the Department of Public Health to the Georgia Composite Medical Board, requires the commission to contract with third-party laboratories for testing, and establishes a que-based system for adding new cultivation licenses.
This bill would allow four more Class 1 production licenses and eight more Class 2 production licenses, with more licenses becoming available provided the patient registry increases by a rate of 50,000 patients.
Will Georgia’s Medical Marijuana Program Be Running Soon?
It’s unclear which bill would have the best chance at passing in the House, though it’s safe to say that cultivators who were not issued licenses will probably push for HB1400.
HB1400 triples the number of allowed cultivators in the state, and Georgia’s medical marijuana program is a tightly held platform already.
Regardless of which bill has the likelihood of passing, the petitions will still be ongoing. Georgia’s access to Medical Cannabis Commission will need to be reviewed and changes will likely be made.
The benefits of getting Georgia’s program up and running quickly are a concern for legislators and lawmakers, who will likely try to get the program running before the end of the year. It’s really anyone’s best guess as to when things will get kicked into gear.
There are nearly 9,000 registered patients waiting for access to Georgia’s low-THC cannabis oil. In the last 3 years, the state hasn’t made a tremendous amount of headway for such a restrictive medical marijuana program.
We hope to see legislative attention on the medical marijuana program and the commission’s ongoing procedures. The best outcome for patients remains an open and accessible medical marijuana program that provides valuable medicine for patients in need.
Get Your Georgia Marijuana Card
Patients with a qualifying condition will be able to receive a medical marijuana certification and obtain low-THC cannabis oil in Georgia. Currently, the state’s medical marijuana program is on hold, and when Georgia issues low-THC cannabis oil to patients, you’ll be able to receive your certification and legally purchase cannabis products.
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