Georgia issues state’s first five dispensing licenses for medical cannabis

The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission has officially issued the state’s first five dispensing licenses during a public meeting on Wednesday.

Botanical Sciences LLC and Trulieve GA Inc. plan to open medical cannabis dispensaries in Bibb County, Chatham County, and Cobb County.

The licenses come months behind scheduled after the commission says it had to rescind the initial rules vote due to a procedural issue.

"We appreciate the support and patience for the work of the Commission as we worked through the process required by law to ensure safe and quality access to medical cannabis," Chair Sid Johnson said.

The Low-THC Oil Patient Registry has grown from 13,000 to over 27,000 registered patients since 2015.

"Our [Class 1 production] licensees, Botanical and Trulieve, have been working hard to get their production facilities fully operational. They have each signaled they are ready to sell to registered patients by applying for these initial dispensing licenses. We look forward to joining the two companies for their dispensary grand openings as they begin to provide low-THC oil and products to Georgia patients," said Andrew Turnage, Executive Director of the GMCC.

"The dispensing licenses issued today are just the beginning," Turnage said. "As more dispensaries become licensed, more patients will be reached at locations throughout the state." Even with these licenses issued, the current production licenses are able to apply for the additional ones until they reach the maximum number allowed by state law.

Georgia law authorizes the commission to issue up to five initial dispensing licenses to each production licensee. This is based on the number of registered patients.

A six dispensing license could be issued to each of the production licensees based on the number of patients now exceeding 25,000, according to Georgia law. Addition licenses could be added for each additional 10,000 patients added.

Dispensaries must be fully operational within 120 days of the date the dispensing license was issued, but must first pass a pre-operational inspection.