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Georgia's Medical Marijuana Program

Georgia’s medical marijuana program, officially known as the Low THC Oil Registry was established with the signing of House Bill 1, also known as the “Haleigh’s Hope Act,” in April 2015. The revolutionary program legalized the use of cannabis oil. However, it cannot contain more than 5% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

Eligibility Requirements for Georgia’s Medical Marijuana Program

To qualify for the program, patients must have a specific medical condition such as cancer, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, mitochondrial disease, sickle cell disease, ALS, AIDS, Alzheimer’s, and others specified by the law. The program aims to help alleviate symptoms associated with the conditions by giving the patients access to low-THC oil.

Licensing Process for Dispensaries in Georgia

The Georgia Department of Public Health oversees the Low THC Oil Registry. They are tasked with managing the process through which patients and their caregivers can obtain a card. Once a medical card is obtained, each patient can possess up to 20 fluid ounces of low-THC oil.

Dispensary licenses in Georgia are highly regulated. The process to obtain a dispensary license to sell low THC oil products to medical marijuana patients includes:

Application Submission for Low THC Card

Anyone who wants to operate a dispensary in Georgia must submit a detailed application to the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission.

The application is required to contain:

  • Complete a business plan
  • Outline all security measures
  • List product safety
  • Explain patient education steps
  • Give an overview of the community impact

Required Fees

All applicants must pay a non-refundable application fee at the time they submit their payments. If a license is awarded then they must be an additional licensing fee and make the payment annually to keep the license current.

Understanding the Selection Process for Low THC Dispensaries

The selection process is highly competitive for anyone wanting to operate a Low THC dispensary in the state of Georgia.

Typically, the criteria for selecting an application include evaluating their potential for selection and compliance.

Government officials will also look at things like experience and financial security. Ideally, the applicant should have experience in the healthcare field. It also helps if the applicant is active in the community in a positive way.

Locations of Licensed Dispensaries

Licensed dispensaries are located throughout the state. Patients seeking information can reach out to the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission to locate dispensaries. Some healthcare providers will also provide information on dispensary locations within the state.

Product Availability in Georgia Dispensaries

Georgia’s medical marijuana dispensaries are permitted to sell only low THC oil, which is defined as an oil containing no more than 5% THC.

The range of products available includes:

  • Low THC Oil
  • Tinctures and Drops with Low THC Oil
  • Capsules Filled with Low THC Oil for Ingestion
  • Topicals That Contain Low THC Oil

In the state of Georgia, patients are NOT allowed to smoke, vape, or consume edibles that contain THC.

Patient Registration in Georgia's Medical Marijuana Program

Patients who wish to register for Georgia’s medical marijuana program just undergo several steps.

Step One: Obtain a Certificate from a Georgia Physician

All patients must obtain certification from a licensed Georgia physician. The certification filled out by the physician must outline the patient’s qualifying condition and then state how the patient will benefit from using low-THC oil.

Step Two: Submit the Low THC Patient Application

The physician’s certification must be submitted through the Georgia Department of Public Health to obtain a Low THC Oil Registry Card.

Step Three: Provide Required Documentation

A patient must submit a filled-out application and proof of residency in the state of Georgia such as a state ID card or a Georgia state driver’s license along with the certification signed by a Georgia physician.

Step Four: Pay All Fees

All applications must accompany a fee of $25 at the time of submission.

Step Five: Approve Process

After the application is approved, the patient will be issued a Low THC Oil Registry Card. Typically, the process takes about 15 days.

Every Low THC Oil Registry Card is valid for two years after the date it is used. A patient must renew the card before it expires.

A renewal involves:

  • Re-evaluation by a Georgia Physician: Each patient must undergo a reevaluation by their physician to show they will still benefit from the use of THC oil.
  • Application for a Renewal: The renewal application is similar to the initial registration process. The patient must submit the renewal application via the Georgia Department of Public Health along with the updated documentation and certification of the physician.
  • Renewal Fee: The renewal fee is currently $25.

Upon approval of the renewal, the patient will be issued a new Low THC Oil Registry Card.

For patients in Georgia seeking relief, the state’s Low THC Registry offers some hope. It’s a way to legally explore the benefits of medical cannabis and purchase much-needed products from safe dispensaries that the state oversees.

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