Georgia poised to lift cultivation ban for limited medical cannabis program

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Georgia lawmakers want to open the state to commercial medical marijuana cultivation, passing a bill that would offer fresh business opportunities in the Peach State’s limited MMJ program.

The measure awaits the signature of Gov. Brian Kemp, who has indicated he supports offering in-state medical marijuana cultivation, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Georgia launched a limited MMJ program in 2015, but the state doesn’t allow for the cultivation, manufacture or sale of THC products.

Georgia restricts medical marijuana to 5% THC, a limit maintained in the bill approved by lawmakers this week.

The bill also:

  • Limits medical cannabis cultivation licenses to six.
  • Requires MMJ to be grown inside.
  • Sets production licenses at $200,000 for Class 1 cultivators, who would be limited to 100,000 square feet of cultivation, and $100,000 for Class 2 cultivators, who would be limited to 50,000 square feet of cultivation.
  • Bans the vaping of THC oil.
  • Bars the Georgia Department of Agriculture from regulating marijuana cultivation.
  • Allows public universities to obtain cannabis for research purposes from “any available legal source,” not just the designated U.S. research farm at the University of Mississippi.
  • Bans physicians from owning medical marijuana cultivators or distributors.
  • Requires medical marijuana cultivators to show “significant involvement in the business by one or more minority business enterprises.”
  • Bans advertising or marketing MMJ to the public or to the state’s existing medical marijuana patients.