Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has signed legislation into law to facilitate the licensed production and distribution of oils and other products containing limited amounts of plant-derived THC.
House Bill 324 (aka Georgia’s Hope Act) establishes a regulatory commission to oversee the eventual “production, manufacturing, and dispensing” of products possessing specified quantities of plant-derived THC to qualified patients. The law allows for the licensing of up to six privately owned cultivation operations, and also seeks collaboration with the University of Georgia in the manufacturing of THC-infused extracts and oils.
Under a 2015 state law, qualified patients are exempt from criminal prosecution for the possession of oil extracts containing not more than 5 percent THC and an amount of CBD equal to or greater than the amount of THC. However, the law failed to provide any mechanism for patients to obtain low-THC products from a state-regulated producer or provider.
Approximately 9,500 patients are currently registered with the state to possess medical cannabis products.
It is anticipated that it may take up to two years before any state-licensed facilities are up and running.