Six medical cannabis licenses awarded in Georgia


Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

On Saturday, July 24, Georgia’s medical cannabis board selected six companies to legally sell the plant in pharmaceutical form.

Under the fixed gaze of 200 people, members of the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission chose six companies from a total of 69 applicants. 

While the state could benefit from more than six cultivators, six is the limit as outlined under state law. Nonetheless, five dispensaries can be opened by each lucky licensee.

Following the decision, patients who are registered with the state’s program will now be able to procure medical cannabis, which was legalized across the U.S. state six years ago.

As many as 15,000 patients have been waiting impatiently for Georgia officials to award cannabis cultivation licenses. Prior to the license-awarding process, the state did not have a legal supply of cannabis-based medicines.

Georgia’s medical cannabis businesses can sell, grow and manufacture pharmaceutical-grade oils

Each of the six businesses on the receiving end of a medical cannabis cultivation license in Georgia has been given the go-ahead to grow cannabis, as well as sell and manufacture medical cannabis oil. This type of cannabis-based medicine is made using a highly purified liquid enriched with the plant’s active cannabinoids, such as CBD (cannabidiol).

Medical cannabis oils – which can be consumed sublingually for fast absorption into the bloodstream – produced by licensees in Georgia must not contain more than five percent of the psychoactive compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Once contracts have been signed, companies will be required to launch their businesses within one year.

Trulieve GA Inc. and Botanical Sciences LLC scored licenses to grow cannabis on 100,000 square feet of indoor cultivation space. Smaller production facilities sized at 50,000 square feet will be operated by the four other companies: FFD GA Holdings, Natures GA LLC, TheraTrue Georgia LLC, and Treevana Remedy Inc.

The commission scored each business based on a set of criteria outlined under state law that established a cannabis oil production program in 2019. The highest-scoring applicants were chosen based on their plans for seed-to-sale tracking, business operations, production and facilities.

Georgia’s medical cannabis patients have been illegally obtaining THC oil

Commissioners are hopeful that Georgia’s medical cannabis companies will be able to launch operations swiftly, so as to serve the growing patient demographic. Up until the law’s recent passing, patients were left with no choice but to either go without their medicine or buy THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) from black market sellers.

Once THC oil is made available at the state’s dispensaries, purchases will be limited to registered patents. In order to qualify for enrollment in Georgia’s medical cannabis program, patients must be diagnosed with a qualifying condition. With doctor-approval, a low-THC oil registration card can be procured from the Georgia Department of Public Health.