Lawmakers in Georgia State introduce bill to allow cultivation, sale of Medical Marijuana
The Georgia House of Representatives introduced a bill to legalize the growing and sale of medical marijuana. The state currently has a limited medical marijuana program. According to the program, state-registered patients with qualifying medical conditions can consume cannabis oil with less than 5 percent THC. However, there are little or no provisions for legally cultivating, transporting, or selling cannabis. According to State Rep. Micah Gravley, a Republican and sponsor of the legislation, the limited law restricts patients from properly getting their medication.
Gravley said the issue lies in the fact that there are no facilities which sell cannabis oil in the state of Georgia. He also noted that CBD oil is very beneficial and can be used as an effective treatment for seizures and other ailments like Parkinson’s disease, cancer, MS, Crohn’s, sickle cell anemia, and autism.
Even though the bill is not guaranteed to pass, it is still favored by lawmakers from both parties and Republican Gov. Brian Kemp recently acknowledge himself in an interview by saying that he is in favor of in-state cultivation.
Kemp said that he sympathize and empathize with medical cannabis patients and he is in favor of research-based expansion. He also said that there is ongoing research on the field that will offer some valuable data that will lead the way forward.
President and CEO of the Atlanta-based anti-pot group National Families in Action, Sue Rusche sensationally stated that the cultivation of cannabis in Georgia would result in the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Rusche said that the growing of cannabis would lead to full legalization. Rusche also noted that most states that legalized marijuana for recreational use started by legalizing the cultivation of marijuana for medicinal use.
The spokesperson of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Virginia Galloway was satisfied last year when the state panel recommended the expansion of the medical marijuana program and permitting cultivation as well as sales of cannabis.
According to Galloway, this is the most secure path to legalization and the industry will probably have a high interest in legalization since they will need to expand their market.
According to Gravley’s suggestion, the state would grant only ten licenses for cannabis growers to attend to Georgia’s registered cannabis patients. Large companies will be awarded five of the licenses which are meant to cultivate, process, and manufacture cannabis oil, while the remaining permits will be reserved for smaller operators. Large firms will be responsible for paying an application fee, an initial license fee, and a yearly renewal charge. A few firms would pay less application fee, initial license, and auto-renewal fee than other companies.
Furthermore, ten retail licenses are set to be granted as per the legislation. Dispensaries will be responsible for paying a fixed sum to apply, $20,000 for the first year’s license, and an annual renewal fee. Permits would be required for approval by January 1, 2020, and authorized cannabis products will be in shelves by 2021.