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  • Hammond Lewis

Savannah City Council Puts 180-Day Ban on New Marijuana Related Licenses

The State of Georgia passed its medical marijuana program 7 years ago, but lawsuits, allegations, state-stalls, and political sludge have all made getting access to low-THC cannabis oil impossible in the Peach State thus far.

Patients would be able to purchase Georgia’s marijuana-derived CBD oil from approved dispensaries under the program, though the State hasn’t been able to get any cultivators operational since the program’s successful passing in 2015.

Now, in what could be seen as further intentional delays, the city of Savannah has decided to put a 6 month ban on the approval of dispensary licenses to “get ready” for medical marijuana.

Savannah, Georgia Bans Dispensary Licenses Until State Can Prepare for “Legalization”

City Council Votes to Prevent Dispensary License Approvals Until System is Created

Although Georgia’s medical marijuana program is on hold, the city of Savannah doesn’t seem to have a problem with waiting just a little bit longer.

In a City Council meeting on March 24th, 2022, the council voted to ban dispensary licenses from being approved for 180 days.

Citing preparation for “legalization” and in attempts to “get the city ready”, the council’s decision to ban dispensary licenses means very little in the conversation of cannabis in Georgia, where there have been ongoing delays for pushing a decade now.

The irony of the city council’s decision is identical to the rest of the medical marijuana program in Georgia, which legalizes marijuana-derived CBD oil, or cannabis oil with less than 5% total THC.

Will Dispensaries Come to Savannah Anytime Soon?

The simple answer is no, dispensaries are not coming to Savannah, Georgia any time soon.

The city council ban doesn’t necessarily affect that, though, because there are still no operating cultivators to grow or harvest cannabis plants in Georgia and no set date for their opening.

And there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight as legislators struggle to pass meaningful legislation that could pick up where the Georgia cannabis commission has failed. All signs are pointing to a longer wait for patients who have registered for Georgia’s low-THC registry, which likely represents only a fraction of patients that would be on the program if it were successfully running.

Without significant changes to the commission and licensing system, as well as changes to the regulations and laws of Georgia’s medical marijuana program, patients looking for cannabis medicine will have to continue waiting for now.

Why Do Cities Have a Problem With Medical Marijuana Businesses?

Feverish & Exciting Headlines Are More Captivating Than Reality With Medical Marijuana

Usually out of ignorance, local politicians are often caught up in the drama of cannabis rather than the science of it, leaning into aging stereotypes and misnomers from the “Reefer Madness” generation.

For many outpaced politicians, there’s no real medical use for marijuana and patients are only using it as an excuse to get “high”, so medical dispensaries are seen as just legal drug dealing operations.

This leads to an abundance of reactive resolutions or city recommendations, such as outrightly banning dispensaries and cultivation facilities, restricting their hours of operation, or imposing high fees on licensing.

Cities Are Small Political Circles That Are Often Left Out of the Larger Conversation With Cannabis

Cities and localities are free to pass any regulations they please when it comes to medical marijuana. Though usually not supported by their inhabitants, every city in Georgia could theoretically prevent dispensaries from opening if they wanted to.

Local cities and counties are not directly opposed to medical or recreational cannabis though, and often the regulations that go into city-managed medical marijuana operations are profit based and logistically thought out.

Cities will look to incorporate their own level of taxation, licensing, construction regulation, and zoning, and having a comprehensive plan for these types of operations can actually make the installation of a dispensary or cultivation facility smoother.

Ultimately, the approach that Savannah is taking will be determined in around 6 months, and if the city can manage to execute a comprehensive and fair regulatory system for dispensary operations, they’ll be 10 steps closer than the State has gotten with medical marijuana.

We’d love to see a plan for coordinating the arrival of dispensaries and cultivation facilities in Georgia and getting the program up and running would certainly be a plus. But only time will tell if Georgia manages to get its legislative system out of the mud and put medicine into the hands of patients who are in desperate need.

Get Your Georgia Marijuana Card

Georgia’s medical marijuana program effectively legalizes low-THC cannabis oil, or CBD oil. With Georgia’s program, patients will be able to register for a medical marijuana certification and legally purchase and possess approved medical marijuana products in the State.

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

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