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US (GA): House aiming to fix medical cannabis program

Legislation that would increase participation in Georgia’s medical cannabis program in an effort to resolve lawsuits filed by losing bidders sailed through the state House of Representatives.

House Bill 196, which passed 170-2, would increase the number of medical cannabis production licenses the state awards to 15, up from the current six. That would allow the nine companies that went to court after they were denied licenses a new opportunity to compete.

The General Assembly first legalized the possession of cannabis oil for medicinal purposes back in 2015. However, it wasn’t until 2019 that lawmakers passed legislation allowing commercial businesses to grow marijuana indoors, convert the leafy crop into low-THC cannabis oil, and sell the product at dispensaries they own.  

The 2019 law created a state commission to oversee the program by issuing six licenses to winning bidders, two Class 1 licenses allowing marijuana to be grown in spaces up to 100,000 square feet. Class 2 licenses were to be awarded to the other four for a smaller growth space of up to 50,000 square feet.


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