The Georgia State Board of Pharmacists has begun accepting applications from nearly 120 pharmacies to offer medical cannabis products, making Georgia the first state in the country to authorize the sale of cannabis products in independent pharmacies.
This expansion of medical cannabis sales to pharmacies, known as pharmaceutical regulation, will significantly expand patient access. There are only seven dispensaries in Georgia for people suffering from conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, seizures, terminal cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Considered restrictive compared to other states like neighboring Florida, Georgia’s 2019 MMJ law only allows oil with low THC content, up to 5%. Flowers are prohibited.
The only two licensed medical cannabis producers in Georgia, Botanical Sciences and Trulieve will supply the products to pharmacies. These two companies were the first in Georgia to get the green light earlier this year to provide cannabis to sick people.
“Pharmacists have been answering patients’ questions for years without being able to do anything,” said Gary Long, CEO of Botanical Sciences, according to theAtlanta Journal-Constitution. “Finally, they have the opportunity to not only advise people, but also provide them with the therapies they are looking for. »
Georgia has more than 400 independent pharmacies and most are expected to participate in the program, with the exception of chains such as CVS and Walgreens according to Georgia Board of Pharmacy member Cecil Cordle.
This new measure will allow approximately 90% of Georgia’s population to be within 30 minutes’ drive of a pharmacy that sells medical cannabis products, according to the newspaper.
Andrew Turnage, executive director of the Georgia Medical Cannabis Access Commission, said the pharmacy rule is “great news.”
“It helps both our licensees and especially our patients,” he told the publication. “It will provide access to virtually every county in the state. »
How many medical cannabis patients are there in Georgia? It’s an important question that caused a mini-scandal last week.
The Georgia Department of Public Health recently revealed that it had miscounted and inflated the number of patients registered for medical cannabis use. Only 14,000 active patients and caregivers are currently registered, far fewer than the 50,000 previously declared.