Lawmakers have released concrete parameters for their plan to pursue in-state cultivation to provide for access to Low THC Oil for those on the state registry in Georgia.
State representative Micah Gravley will present ‘Georgia’s Hope Act’ on Thursday in a press
conference at the Capitol. He will be joined with Shannon Cloud, a mother of a low THC oil patient.
Georgia approved measures in 2015 to permit patients with certain conditions to obtain medical CBD oil cards which shields them prosecution for possession by state and local law enforcement, but because of federal regulations prohibiting the transfer of such products across state lines, coupled with the fact that Georgia has no cultivation or sales of CBD oil, patients are in a position to break the law to obtain the oil. You can read which conditions are permitted under Georgia law to possess low THC oil here.
The bill to be filed by Gravley, who has assumed the role of advocate for families in Georgia seeking access after the retirement of Representative Allen Peake, seeks to do the following:
- Establishes an in-state cultivation and distribution program to give registered Georgia patients access to safe, regulated medical cannabis products
- Creates an 11-members “Low TH Oil License Oversight Board” governed by the Department of Public Health
- To oversee applications and choose manufacturers and distributors
- Creates an “Office of Low THC Oil Control” responsible for controlling and supervising the program
- Under the Department of Public Health
- Allows for FIVE licenses for companies to grow, process, and manufacture medical cannabis in Georgia
- Considered “Class 1” license
- Requires applicants have $10,000,000 in capital
- $50,000 application fee
- $100,000 license fee
- $50,000 renewal license fee
- Allows for 5 retail locations
- Allows for FIVE licenses for smaller companies to grow (capped at 20,000 square feet)
- Considered “Class 2” license
- Requires applicants to have $1,000,000 in capital
- $12,500 application fee
- $25,000 initial license fee
- $10,000 annual license fee
- Allows 2 retail locations
- 10 “Safe Access Retail Licenses” which allows distribution of medical CBD oil to registered patients
- Must have 250,000 in capital
- $10,000 application fee
- $20,000 license fee
- $10,000 renewal fee each year
- Requires third-party testing safety and efficacy testing
- Requires approval system for all plants from seed to sale
- Requires 247 secured facilities with video monitoring
The bill would have patients in Georgia in a position to have access 12 months after the first licenses are approved on January 1, 2020.
The language would not permit for recreational use of the products or even use of the medicinal products outside of the scope of the limited registry approved by the legislature. States that do have recreational marijuana growth and use passed the initiatives by citizen referendum on the ballot, an initiative not permitted in the state of Georgia. None of the proposed initiatives have an impact on the federal enforcement, which is still illegal.
Georgia’s Hope, a group that has pushed for in-state access to the oil for years, posted about the bill on their Facebook page Thursday:
We are well aware that this bill will not be what everyone wants. Is it perfect? Of course not. Does it have a chance of passing? Yes, with a lot of hard work to get it through the process. This bill will undergo changes as it moves through the House and the Senate so it may look a little different at the end of session, but we feel that this model is a realistic solution for Georgia patients.
Our current legislature is not going to pass a bill that allows unlimited licenses or home grow. Some will say that 10 licenses is not enough, but it is a reasonable number given our current patient population and expected growth in the near term. This bill provides opportunities for the bigger companies that will inevitably apply as well as smaller or newer Georgia companies that would like to obtain licenses also.
We are honored that this bill has been named after the patients and families that this group represents. We have been working closely with legislators and will continue to fight for what is in the best interests of the 8,000+ patients of Georgia that need legal access to cannabis oil.
AllOnGeorgia will continue to follow this initiative through the legislature.