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Georgia to Sell Medical Cannabis in Pharmacies

20 October 2023 / Category: Blog

The Georgia Pharmacy Board recently had a meeting in Atlanta on October 18, 2023. They discussed the possibility of starting the sale of medical cannabis products in local pharmacies in Georgia by the end of October. This move could greatly increase the availability of medical cannabis, making Georgia the first state in the US to do this.

Let’s go over a few key takeaways on Georgia:

  • Georgia has a relatively conservative medical cannabis law that limits the THC content to 5% and the eligible conditions to a few severe illnesses1. This may make it easier for the state to regulate and monitor the quality and safety of the products, as well as to prevent abuse and diversion.
  • Georgia has a large network of independent pharmacies that are willing to participate in the program and provide access to patients across the state. This may reduce the need for building new dispensaries and increase the convenience and affordability for patients.
  • Georgia has a strong medical cannabis commission that oversees the licensing, production, testing, and distribution of the products2. The commission has worked closely with the Board of Pharmacy, the Department of Public Health, and the licensed producers to establish rules and standards for the program.
  • Georgia has a supportive governor and legislature that have approved the expansion of medical cannabis sales into pharmacies3. The governor signed the rules passed by the Board of Pharmacy last month, clearing the way for pharmacy sales to begin. The legislature passed a law in 2019 that authorized the distribution of low THC oil in Georgia4.

At the moment, there are seven dispensaries managed by two local producers, Botanical Sciences and Trulieve, where medical cannabis products are sold in Georgia. However, the state laws also permit these products to be sold in local pharmacies.

People who wish to buy medical cannabis products have to be listed on the state’s Low THC Oil Registry.

In the recent Pharmacy Board meeting, the Executive Director, Eric Lacefield, mentioned that the new rules that were approved in June started being applied from October 4. This time frame allowed for a review of the board’s rules by Governor Brian Kemp’s office. Lacefield also shared that they have received 27 applications from local pharmacies and have begun processing them.

In the same meeting, Dennis Troughton, the Director of Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency, said they are moving forward with more than a dozen of these applications. He mentioned that the first inspection is scheduled for a pharmacy in Southwest Georgia on the coming Friday, marking the start of their review process for the low THC pharmacy dispensary.

Troughton anticipates that pharmacists might have questions regarding different aspects like how the products should be labeled.

Gary Long, who is the CEO of Botanical Sciences, expects that their medical cannabis products will be available in local pharmacies by the end of October. In a previous interview, Long mentioned that already 120 local pharmacies are ready to participate.

He highlighted that this initiative will not only increase accessibility but also ensure that people living in remote areas of Georgia, and not just in urban centers, can also easily obtain medical cannabis products.