The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission (GMCC) announced during their public hearing on Saturday, July 24, the Notice of Intent to Award six Class 1 and Class 2 Production Licenses to manufacture low-THC cannabis oil for medical use in Georgia. Sixty-nine applicants submitted competitive proposals, one of those was Remedium in Trion, was not selected.
“It’s a great day for Georgians who need access to low-THC oil, and their families who have advocated a quality of life for their loved ones,” said Dr. Christopher Edwards, chair of the commission. “From day one, the commission has intentionally made sure we were listening to patients’ needs and gathered information on best practices from medical professionals. In selecting Walker County for our public meeting, we’ve shown our commitment to involving communities throughout the state and maintaining trust, transparency and confidentiality,” Dr. Edwards said.
Two years ago, the Georgia General Assembly passed House Bill 324, “Georgia’s Hope Act,” which allows patients to access medical cannabis oil with no more than 5% THC. The legislation allows the commission to issue up to six licenses to private companies to grow cannabis under close supervision of the state. Two licensees will allocate up to 100,000 square feet of growing space, while four licensees will be limited to no more than 50,000 square feet of growing space.
“Because of the dedication and hard work of the commission, we have been able to stay focused on getting the work done while always keeping patients’ needs as a top priority. This is a big step in the right direction, and the announcement of the six companies is an indication that help is on the way for Georgians,” said Danielle Benson, Vice-chair of the cannabis commission.
Two licensees awarded to Trulieve GA inc and Botanical Sciences LLC will allocate up to 100,000 square feet of growing space , while the four remaining licenses given to FFD GA Holdings, TheraTrue Ga LLC, Natures GA LLC and Treevana Remedy Inc will be limited to no more than 50,000 square feet of growing space.
The next step in the medical marijuana program will be finalizing contracts with the six winning companies, then beginning operations next year.
Contracts for producers with the state indicate a Class 1 license will cost $200,000 and need to be renewed yearly at a cost of $100,000, while a Class 2 production license will cost $100,000 with a $50,000 annual renewal fee.
The companies that were not chosen will be allowed to appeal the decision.
About the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission
On April 2, 2019, the Georgia General Assembly passed House Bill 324 titled “Georgia’s Hope Act,” which authorizes the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission to oversee the regulated licensing of limited, in-state cultivation, production, manufacturing, and sale of low-THC oil as well as dispensing to registered patients on the state’s Low-THC Oil Registry. Governor Brian P. Kemp signed the bill into law on April 17, 2019. Georgia’s Hope Act (Official Code of Georgia Annotated §16-12) took effect July 1, 2019.
Georgia’s Hope Act allows registered patients to access medical cannabis oil in-state with no more than 5% THC. Georgia’s Hope Act allows up to six private growers to cultivate medical cannabis to produce low-THC oil, along with two designated universities. Patients on the Georgia Department of Public Health Low-THC Oil Patient Registry will be allowed to obtain low-THC oil from licensed dispensaries or specially licensed pharmacies.