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Georgia’s medical cannabis program working to license manufacturers

Nearly 70 businesses have applied for licenses to produce low-THC cannabis oil for medical use in Georgia, the commission in charge of the state’s medical cannabis program announced Wednesday.

The companies are seeking either Class 1 or Class 2 licenses. Under legislation the General Assembly passed in 2019, Class 1 licenses will let the recipient grow marijuana indoors in up to 100,000 square feet of space. Class 2 licenses will authorize recipients to grow an indoor crop occupying up to 50,000 square feet.

About 14,000 Georgians suffering from a list of chronic diseases eligible for treatment with medical cannabis and registered with the state will be able to receive the oil. The list of diseases that qualify patients for cannabis oil under the legislation include cancer, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, mitochondrial disease and sickle- cell anemia.

The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission launched the license application process last November.

The commission has put an emphasis on attracting applications from businesses owned by minorities, women and/or veterans.

“Today is a great day for patients who need access to low-THC oil, and economic development for minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses,” said Andrew Turnage, the commission’s executive director.

The commission will announce contract awards at the end of the review process, likely in late spring or early summer. Companies then can begin to construct facilities and begin production, a process that could take six to eight months.

Once the manufacturing licenses have been awarded, the commission will develop rules and regulations for granting licenses to dispensaries that will distribute the low-THC oil to patients.

Patients and other members of the public will be able to keep track of the program’s progress and sign up for notifications by clicking on the commission’s website at www.

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