'Dozens' Line Up for Two First Georgia Dispensary Openings

Georgia only allows the sale of oil with less than 5% THC to qualified patients.

Despite the restrictive nature of Georgia’s medical cannabis program – and the fact that there are only two dispensaries yet in the entire state – the debut of retail sales was met with jubilation on Friday and “dozens” of patients that swarmed the two shops when they opened for sales.

Georgia only allows for cannabis oil with less than 5% THC to be sold and only to qualifying patients who suffer from debilitating disorders, such as epilepsy or Parkinson’s disease. There are roughly 27,000 registered patients in the state, but that number is expected to balloon to as many as 100,000 now that sales are finally off the ground.

The two shops that opened Friday – in Atlanta suburb Marietta and the town of Macon, with both dispensaries owned by Florida-based Trulieve – are the first of at least six companies that will eventually obtain MMJ business permits.

Litigation has stalled the issuance of four more cultivation permits to FFD GA Holdings LLC, Theratrue Georgia LLC, Natures GA LLC, and Treevana Remedy Inc., according to a press release from the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission.

So far, the state has only issued permits for five stores: Three by Trulieve and another two by Botanical Sciences. Those two companies will be allowed to open up to six dispensaries apiece, but it’s unclear when that may happen. Botanical has approval for dispensaries in Marietta and Pooler, while Trulieve has a third permit for a dispensary in Pooler.

“We just hit the lottery,” Jim Wages, the first customer at the Marietta location, told Fox 5, referring to how cannabis oil helps his epileptic daughter stave off seizures.

Wages said his family had been waiting for legal MMJ sales to launch for years, since possession and consumption of low-THC oils was legalized in 2015 but the state took until now to stand up an operational industry.

Smokable cannabis and other forms of medical marijuana are still prohibited in Georgia.

John Schroyer

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