The Georgia House of Representatives voted last week (March 5) and passed a bill intended to regulate the manufacture and sale of medical marijuana oil. This bill now goes to the state senate for consideration before it becomes law.
The existing regulations in Georgia don’t allow the cultivation, manufacture or sale of cannabis oil, and this has left patients using medical marijuana in the state with no source of cannabis oil even if the laws allow the use of that oil as long as its THC content doesn’t exceed 5 percent.
House Bill 324 is geared at changing that so that patients who enroll on the medical cannabis program can access medical cannabis oil.
Once the bill is enacted into law, the 8,400 patients who have so far registered in the medical cannabis program of the state will be able to buy cannabis oil from one of the 60 medical marijuana dispensaries in the state.
Allan Powell, the Republican chair of the committee that initially considered the bill before sending it to the entire House for a vote, said that he was happy that a legal avenue was being created for qualifying patients to access marijuana oil.
He added that it was hypocritical to pass a law stipulating what kind of cannabis oil patients should use yet no mechanism was put in place to make it possible for patients to access that oil.
House Bill 324 sets the bar high for companies that would like to participate in the medical cannabis industry of the state. For example, large companies will have to pay $150,000 for a license while smaller companies will have to fork out $37,000. It will cost $30,000 to get a license to operate a medical cannabis retail business.
Renewing those licenses will not be any easier either. The fees for this range between $10,000 and $50,000. The businesses had better attract a large volume of sales if they are to thrive despite these high license acquisition and renewal fees.
Meanwhile, the bill still has opposition outside the chambers of the lawmakers. For example, the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association led by Terry Norris has described the bill as something that will take the state down a dangerous and treacherous path that may end into kids using marijuana while adults will eventually switch from cannabis to more dangerous drugs.
Such scaremongering isn’t new, but it may amount to nothing since even the Governor has promised to sign the law once it is passed by the senate. Canopy Rivers Inc. (TSX.V: RIV) (OTC: CNPOF) and ChineseInvestors.com (OTCQB: CIIX) hope that the legislation will be passed and implemented expeditiously so that patients and investors don’t have to wait any longer than is necessary for them to access medical cannabis oil or the opportunities the industry offers.
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