The new Georgian government has awarded licenses to cultivate medical cannabis to two companies – one of which is a subsidiary of the “Medifarm” group, owned by billionaire venture capitalist, philanthropist and former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.

In February, Georgia’s Office of Natural Resources awarded five cultivation licenses to medical marijuana growers, despite the fact that the state’s Medical Marijuana Law only authorizes the production of low-THC cannabis for epileptic children. The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia is suing the state, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Medical Cannabis Commission to stop the issuance of the licenses. The lawsuit claims that the awarding of the cultivation licenses contradicts the intent of the provisions of the Georgia Medical Marijuana Law, which state that the state “shall provide for the licensing of two or more cultivation centers each to cultivate cannabis for low-THC products, and for the production of cannabis other than low-THC products.

Protests have flared in Georgia after the country’s government awarded licences to grow medical cannabis to two companies. The country is set to become the first in the world to produce large quantities of the drug for medical use. But the licensing of the two companies, which include a Canadian firm and an American firm, has been met with criticism, with activists saying the country is rushing to grant licences to foreign firms without first making sure the product is safe.. Read more about georgia medical marijuanas laws 2021 and let us know what you think.

Georgia has cleared a key roadblock in the medicinal marijuana business. Six producers were recently granted cultivation permits by the state, and all are expected to begin operations within the next several months. Rejected candidates, medicinal marijuana activists, and patients, on the other hand, are raising concerns about the contentious decision-making process. 

The Georgia Access to Medicinal Cannabis Commission (GMCC) granted two Class 1 licenses and four Class 2 licenses to manufacture low-THC medical cannabis oil at a public hearing on Saturday, July 24, 2021. There were 69 candidates in all that competed for a license. Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, and House Speaker David Ralston appointed the committee.

The two Class 1 winners are Florida-based Trulieve GA Inc. and Botanical Sciences LLC. Class 1 permits enable farmers to cultivate the plant in an area larger than 100,000 square feet. Botanical Sciences, headquartered in Georgia, recently made headlines when it was discovered that former anti-cannabis congressman Tom Price had joined the company’s board of directors. 

FFD GA Holdings, TheraTrue Georgia, Natures GA, and Treevana Remedy are the four Class 2 winners, all of which are based in Georgia. Growers with a Class 2 license may cultivate the plant in an area of up to 50,000 square feet.

Each new licensee will be allowed to operate up to five dispensaries. Furthermore, the companies will be able to legally sell, grow, and manufacture medicinal cannabis oil as long as it contains less than 5% of the mind-altering ingredient THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). 

The psychotropic component THC is the most common in cannabis. It is known for making users feel calm and euphoric because to its mind-altering properties. Low-dose THC has been shown to alleviate stress in studies.

Columbia Care, Curaleaf, Parallel, and Verano Holdings were among the unfortunate businesses that failed to compete with the successful applications.

Following the rejection, 21 companies have filed protests. 

The GMCC’s decision to grant six cultivation licenses has generated controversy among activists and patients. The objections mostly revolve around the possibility that licensed recipients are unqualified in contrast to some of the applicants who were denied. Industry sources have characterized the selecting process as “secretive.”

Check-Out-This-Texas-Sized-Cannabis-Legalization-Update

Many details in highly redacted applications were hidden out, leaving many individuals perplexed as to why some candidates were accepted while others were denied. 21 of the 69 businesses who sought for cultivation permits in Georgia have subsequently filed protests. Meanwhile, Trulieve’s CEO Kim Rivers’ husband has been charged with public corruption in Florida. 

The state’s 20,000 registered medical marijuana patients are becoming more worried that they may have to wait even longer for cannabis-based medications as a result of the demonstrations. Curaleaf, the world’s biggest cannabis business, is one of the rejected applicants that filed a complaint letter with the commission.

An extract from a letter submitted by Curaleaf says, “The Cannabis Commission abdicated this duty and made judgments that lacked openness, lacked logic, and unfairly favored some applicants over others.”

Officials from the company argue that the GMCC had a duty to conduct a fair and transparent procedure. Curaleaf, on the other hand, claims that licenses were granted based on a variety of factors.

Georgia’s Medical Marijuana Law

Governor Nathan Deal signed the Haleigh’s Hope Act, also known as Georgia’s HB 1, into law in April 2015. Patients with qualified medical illnesses may now register as patients with the Low THC Oil Registry and receive cannabis oil with no more than 5% THC by weight.

Despite the fact that Georgia’s medical marijuana law makes it legal to own low-THC oil, no provisions were established for in-state sales. However, when Deal signed SB 16 on May 9, 2018, patient access to low-THC oil was extended. More qualifying ailments were added to the list of requirements for eligible patients after the law went into force in July 2018.

Cancer, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, autism spectrum disorder, PTSD, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, sickle cell disease, Alzheimer’s disease, AIDS, peripheral neuropathy, intractable pain, Tourette’s syndrome, and more are now considered qualifying conditions in Georgia. 

Georgia’s Hope Act (HB 324) went into effect sometime later, in July 2019. With GMCC supervision, this legislation created the foundation for in-state cannabis cultivation, dispensing, and manufacturing. The revised legislation also stated that registered patients may only have 20 fluid ounces of cannabis oil in their possession.

Most information stays confidential and off-the-record under Georgia’s medical cannabis legislation; however, the same cannot be true for competitive bids for other kinds of government contracts. The commission argues that each competing company’s scoresheets are private, despite the fact that most of them kept their business information hidden from the public. The demonstrations are still ongoing.

Recognizing-Women-of-Color-Shaping-the-Cannabis-Space

Bethan Rose is a cannabis activist, writer, and nomad who has no fixed address. She is now living in Bali and can typically be found on her hammock collecting cannabis material.

Several marijuana legalization groups in the state have organized recent protests, claiming the new licenses are awarded earlier than allowed by the state. This will lead to a surge in production (and taxes) and the potential for black market sales, they say, which could potentially lead to negative effects on the communities where the plants are grown.. Read more about georgia legalization 2021 and let us know what you think.

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