Georgia lifts ban on commercial medical marijuana production

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has opened the state to commercial medical cannabis cultivation, signing a bill to create new business opportunities in the Peach State’s limited MMJ program.

The measure outlines the first opportunities for private businesses to grow and sell cannabis.

Georgia launched its limited MMJ program in 2015, though the cultivation, manufacture or sale of THC products was not permitted.

The new law keeps Georgia’s THC cap at 5% but allows for six growing licenses to be granted to private companies – two for larger organizations and four for smaller businesses.

The bill also:

  • Requires the plant to be grown inside.
  • Bans smoked or vaped medical marijuana.
  • Sets production licenses at $200,000 for Class 1 cultivators, which would be limited to 100,000 square feet of cultivation, and $100,000 for Class 2 cultivators, which would be limited to 50,000 square feet of cultivation.
  • Bars the Georgia Department of Agriculture from regulating marijuana cultivation.
  • Allows public universities to obtain cannabis for research purposes from “any available legal source,” not just the designated U.S. research farm at the University of Mississippi.
  • Bans physicians from owning medical marijuana cultivators or distributors.
  • Requires medical cannabis cultivators to show “significant involvement in the business by one or more minority business enterprises.”
  • Bans advertising or marketing MMJ to the public or to the state’s existing medical marijuana patients.

Georgia currently has about 9,500 medical marijuana patients.

– Associated Press

Comments ( 2)
  1. Denise Stokes on

    If only 6 licenses will be issued to cultivators for the entire state of Georgia, and the eligible patients can still only legally buy/possess .5% THC then so far, this DOES NOT help those of us currently suffering with the life-threatening and/or debilitating conditions that qualify us. And, the way this is structured will just welcome some OUT OF STATE company/individual to come right on in and start REAPING PROFITS while we still BEG for some daily relief from the fight of our LIVES. I am a Georgian, I have at least two of the qualifying medical conditions. Unfortunately, for MY specific symptom that are listed with my diagnosed conditions, .5% thc does NOTHING to help. SIX licenses are being granted, at least FIVE should be GEORGIA based companies and residents – AND the ETHNIC and GENDER diversity of GA should ALSO be REQUIRED to be reflected in these 6 licenses. You can NEVER make up for lost quality of life – you can NEVER make amends for lives cut short unnecessarily. We had the “good-evil” argument for COUNTLESS LOST YEARS – now, the conversation has shifted directly to the MONEY – and the PATIENTS you SAY this is for ARE SUFFERING DAILY in between this mess!! I LOVE KIDS!!!!! I’d give limbs to save a child! But HOW DARE YOU forget how RAMPANT AIDS, CANCER, and other serious conditions are in ADULTS in GA! I never even expect what’t right and fair anymore – I work for it – I pray for it – advocate for and try to emulate these qualities with my actions – but my State has failed to put my health, safety and well-being as a priority for SO LONG that I literally don’t believe it will EVER be fair. I’ve been fighting my illness since I was 13 years old – I am 50 – it is a MIRACLE beyond anything I can explain WHY I am still alive. But I am grateful – and my state should help me fight for my life – I volunteered 37 years of my life making sure I helped keep Georgian’s safe from the spread from HIV and MANY other horrific health challenges. You STILL are not ready to help me help us? Still not ready to give me the tools need to fight for my life? And SOME Grower from another state with 20 years experience AND the profits in their pocket are about to RAPE GA of the resources you SAY will FIRST – help the ILL, and SECOND – Profit Georgian’s in Georgia! I am one of the longest living survivors of AIDS on this planet. Infected by rape in Savannah in 1983 at 13 years old. I was a virgin – and GA had NO laws or resources to support or protect me. SO I HELPED MAKE THEM! You can’t “lift a pen” to assist me? And should I be proud of this?

    Reply
  2. Brennon Harrison on

    What we need now is admission of guilt from any legislators, or any other government employees already involved in marijuana production and distribution prior to Governor Kemp’s signing of this new law. I’m talking dried flower that has been being produced for years by friends and families of law enforcement agencies as well as other constituents of the government.

    Reply

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