The start-up of Georgia’s medical marijuana industry has been postponed by protests from businesses that applied for — but didn’t receive — medical marijuana licenses when they were awarded by the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission in July.
Since then, their protests have been moving slowly through an administrative process to evaluate complaints of inconsistencies in the competitive bidding process. Even after the protests are resolved by the commission, those companies could file lawsuits that might take three years or more to move through the court system.
Registered patients with illnesses including severe seizures and Parkinson’s disease have been allowed to use medical marijuana oil since 2015, but they still have no legal way to buy it in Georgia. The oil is consumed orally and it can have no more than 5% THC, the compound that gives marijuana users a high.
“This whole process was marred in a lot of nontransparency,” said Bryan Scott of Scott’s Pharmacy in Macon, an investor in one of the protesting companies. “This bill would be the best way to rectify some of the wrongs.”
Now that the bill has passed the House Regulated Industries Committee, it could soon be considered for a vote by the full House of Representatives.