In a move that widens the nascent legal cannabis market in Georgia, the state Board of Pharmacy has introduced regulations allowing independent pharmacies to distribute cannabis oil.
The news, first reported by Capitol Beat, signals a broader shift in policy after the legalization of marijuana cultivation in 2019.
The legislation permits the conversion of the harvested plant into low-THC cannabis oil for treating a myriad of ailments. The state’s Department of Public Health is tasked with maintaining a registry of eligible patients.
As of now, two companies, Trulieve Georgia and Botanical Sciences LLC, have secured licenses to manufacture the therapeutic oil and opened the first few dispensaries in Marietta and Macon.
In addition to these dispensaries, the law allows more than 700 independent pharmacies across Georgia to distribute cannabis oil to qualifying patients. Andrew Turnage, executive director of the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission, told the outlet that more than 100 pharmacies have shown interest in participating in the program.
“This gives an opportunity for virtually every community to have access,” Turnage said.
The pharmacy board conducted a short public hearing on Wednesday regarding the proposed rules surrounding the sale of cannabis oil by pharmacies. Turnage anticipates the board’s approval of these regulations in the near future.
“They set a pathway for independent pharmacies to apply and subject these pharmacies to inspection and regulation for this medicine,” he explained.
The board is planning to unveil a draft application form next week, which will detail the proposed fee schedule. Turnage expects the first round of licensed pharmacies to start selling cannabis oil from late August to early September.
Patients eligible for cannabis oil treatment are those diagnosed with a list of illnesses that range from terminal cancer to post-traumatic stress disorder and autism.