Georgia legalized medical marijuana for patients with qualifying conditions in 2015, though the State is currently at a standstill while ironing the details of its program.
Georgia passed its medical marijuana law nearly 7 years ago, which should have permitted patients to apply for a medical marijuana certification and purchase cannabis products.
However, after a series of legislative fumbles and complications with the cultivation licensing program, Georgia has been unable to get the medical marijuana program up and running.
Leaving many potential cannabis patients without access to the low-THC hemp products that the program legalizes, the stall on medical marijuana might benefit patients long term.
In this article, we’ll cover why Georgia’s stall on medical cannabis could be a good thing for patients, as a competent medical marijuana program might be implemented in the Peach State.
Georgia Fails to Get Medical Marijuana Program Running
Complications with Cultivation Licensing Process
The Georgia licensing division responsible for the cultivation licenses for medical marijuana businesses quickly came under the radar. Multiple petitions came out addressing concerns about monopolies, back-door deals, and untransparent processes.
Georgia’s medical marijuana program hardly meets the requirements of a comprehensive cannabis program already, only allowing cannabis products that contain less than 5% THC, also known as hemp products.
The program further sought to squeeze medical marijuana by limiting cultivator licenses to only 6 companies and charging significant non-refundable fees to do so.
Before the program even became accessible, cities attempted to pass laws that would prevent cultivation facilities from moving to their towns, even though there were only six facilities with no intentions of moving there.
This exemplifies the real failure of the Georgia medical marijuana program- the terrible lack of communication and transparency for both legislators and citizens.
Georgia Cannabis Program Comes to a Halt While Commission Is Reviewed
While the medical marijuana program in Georgia is halted for the time being, legislators are reviewing the practices of the commission and making competent decisions about the direction of the program moving forward.
This means longer delays for the 20,000 patients already registered for Georgia’s low-THC registry card, but there haven’t been any products available for nearly 7 years so nothing critical changes for the time being.
However, reviewing the practices of the cannabis commission is likely to trigger a review of the medical marijuana program in Georgia as a wole. This could mean significant changes and possibly even broader access for patients and cultivators both.
The Benefits of a Review on Georgia’s Medical Marijuana Program
Why the Georgia Medical Marijuana Program Might Change
With the debacle over the limited number of cultivation licenses approved in Georgia, it’s safe to say the State is aware of the potential for monopolies within the cannabis industry.
Avoiding a monopolized cannabis program reaches into more facets than just cultivators, as it includes dispensaries and patients too.
Access to low-THC cannabis oil is the priority, and fixing the cultivation licensing issue is the key to that for now.
But the realization that low-THC cannabis oil is merely a hemp-grade product that offers significantly less realized therapeutic value than traditional whole-plant cannabis is what really matters for Georgia medical marijuana patients.
Few states have implemented medical cannabis policies as restrictive as Georgia, as it leaves out a significant number of patients that see medicinal benefits from using traditional cannabis products.
How Legislators Are Most Likely to Approach Georgia’s Cannabis Program
Legislation and dominoes have a tumbling effect on each other, and it’s reasonable to assume this will apply to Georgia’s licensing fiasco.
When legislators get a competent review of the mistakes that could have been fixed in the cultivation licensing department, it’s likely to trigger a reasonable review on the program’s ability to perform in general.
Patients in states that have comprehensive medical marijuana programs understand the extreme demand for effective cannabis products and easily accessible licenses for chronic and terminally ill patients.
Georgia doesn’t lend itself to either of these categories, as it remains particularly exclusive to receiving a card only to access the low-THC oil.
Alongside licensing concerns, Georgia will need to recognize the severe need of the 20,000 patients who have registered for medical marijuana cards and have no access to medicine.
It would be highly reasonable to expedite the cannabis cultivation in Georgia as an immediate priority, allowing legislators to move Georgia towards a real medical marijuana program that allows access for a broad range of patients who could see medical benefits from cannabis.
Get Your Georgia Marijuana Card
Legislators are working overtime to get Georgia’s medical marijuana program active by the end of the year. Although the program is currently at a standstill, we hope that patients will be able to apply for a low-THC oil registry card at some point soon.
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