Medical Marijuana in Georgia
On April 17, 2019, Georgia’s Hope Act—HB 324—was signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp, which would allow medical marijuana patients to access low-THC cannabis oils (up to 5% THC) in Georgia. In late 2020, the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission began accepting applications for the coveted Class 1 and Class 2 production licenses. Pursuant to HB 324, the state is only approving six (6) applicants to be able to cultivate and produce medical marijuana preparations. Even though zero licenses have been approved since HB 324’s enactment, in 2021, Georgia’s Legislature approved SB 195 to allow six (6) producers to each be able to operate five (5) dispensaries until registered patient populations increase. If approved by Governor Kemp, this would mandate Georgia’s cannabis industry to be “vertically integrated.”
Unfortunately, Georgia’s cannabis policies are not reflective of the communities that make up such an amazing state. Two thirds of Georgians believe cannabis possession should be legal, however, Georgia remains one of nineteen (19) states that imposes jail time for simple possession of cannabis, as well as one of thirteen (13) states that does not have compassionate medical cannabis law.
However, with a reported 15,000 registered medical marijuana patients in Georgia as of 2021, there will be a huge push to granting the initial cultivation and production licenses as the Commission has yet to open the dispensary license application period even though sales were predicted to begin in 2021.
Cancer, when such diagnosis is end stage or the treatment produces related wasting illness or recalcitrant nausea and vomiting; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Seizure disorders related to diagnosis of epilepsy or trauma related head injuries; Multiple sclerosis; Crohn’s disease; Mitochondrial disease; Parkinson’s disease, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage; Sickle cell disease; Tourette’s syndrome; Autism spectrum disorder, when (a) patient is eighteen (18) years of age or more, or (b) patient is less than eighteen (18) years of age and diagnosed with severe autism; Epidermolysis bullosa; Alzheimer’s disease; AIDS; Peripheral neuropathy; Patient is in hospice program, either as inpatient or outpatient; Intractable pain; Post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from direct exposure to or witnessing of a trauma for a patient who is at least eighteen (18) years of age.
Unlike several other states, several of the above diagnoses only allow the patient to register with Georgia’s Medical Marijuana Program if his or her symptoms are severe or at the end stage.
Applications for Medical Marijuana Business Licenses
Currently, Class 1 and Class 2 licenses for cultivation and production of medical marijuana closed on January 27, 2021. For your review, below are the fees applicable to the production licenses, as well as some of the requirements for the application in anticipation of the Commission opening dispensing licenses:
Class 1 Production License Fees
- $25,000 – Application Fee
- $200,000 – License Fee
- $100,000 – Annual Renewal Fee
Class 2 Production License Fees
- $5,000 – Application Fee
- $100,000 – License Fee
- $50,000 – Annual Renewal Fee
Now is the time to build a strong support team to help guide you through this challenging, yet rewarding process. Whether you are preparing to enter the business of medical marijuana, our team will be with you every step of the way. Schedule an appointment with one of our experts today!