Georgia Passes Medical Cannabis Reforms

Georgia lawmakers have approved a bill establishing comprehensive medical cannabis reforms; the governor is expected to sign the bill into law.

Full story after the jump.

Georgia’s legislature has passed comprehensive medical cannabis reform, creating a regulated system for cultivation and distribution and fixing a long-standing problem in the state’s medical cannabis program that only allowed patients to possess a small amount of cannabis, according to an 11 Alive report.

The bill creates two classes of cultivators: class one for large operations and class two for small businesses. Class one operators would be allowed to cultivate, process flower into oil, and operate up to five dispensaries. Class two businesses are capped at 20,000 square feet of cultivation and can operate up to three dispensaries. The state Department of Health would issue the licenses. The Class one businesses are expected to be able to invest at least $10 million into the state.

The bill does not increase the THC thresholds allowed under the medical cannabis law and, initially, it will be available in pharmacies.

According to the report, the bill was the final to pass the legislature before the end of the state’s legislative session. It passed the House 147-16, and the Senate 34-20, just before midnight.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution the bill is “the right thing to do.”

“Over the years, I’ve met with children who are battling chronic, debilitating diseases. I’ve heard from parents who are struggling with access and losing hope. This compromise legislation is carefully crafted to provide access to medical cannabis oil to those in need.” – Kemp, to the AJC

Kemp is expected to sign the bill, making Georgia the 34th state with a legal medical cannabis program and industry.

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