Georgia Kickstarts Medical Cannabis Program With Appointments to Seven-Member Commission
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Georgia Kickstarts Medical Cannabis Program With Appointments to Seven-Member Commission

Top state officials have appointed members to the commission, which will license and oversee cultivators and retailers.

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November 13, 2019

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, House Speaker David Ralston and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan appointed seven members to the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission Nov. 12, as reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in a move that kickstarts the state’s medical cannabis program seven months after Kemp signed a law allowing patients to access medical cannabis oil in the state.

The commission includes three doctors, a police chief, a health policy professor, the president for the Georgia Board of Pharmacy and a small business owner, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and is chaired by Dr. Christopher Edwards, the principal surgeon for the Atlanta Neurological & Spine Institute.

State law mandates that commission members cannot have financial interests in a cannabis oil firm during their four-year terms and five years afterward, the news outlet reported, and officials screened more than 50 candidates for the seven spots.

The commission is responsible for overseeing Georgia’s medical cannabis program, which Kemp signed into law in April. Prior to the new law, Georgia patients could legally possess up to 20 fluid ounces of cannabis oil since 2015, but the sale or transportation of the oil was prohibited, leaving patients no legal way to obtain their medicine.

Now, the seven-member board, which is charged with licensing and regulating businesses to grow and sell the low-THC cannabis oil (which must contain less than 5% THC), can set to work establishing a medical cannabis distribution network throughout the state.

The state plans to license up to nine acres of indoor cultivation space, and licenses are to be awarded to two large companies and four smaller companies, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported. The University of Georgia and Fort Valley State University will pursue licenses, according to the news outlet.