Georgia Governor Signs Bill Allowing In-State Production And Sale Of Medical Cannabis Oil

Governor Brian Kemp [R] has signed Georgia’s Hope Act (HB324), a piece of legislation to permit the cultivation, processing, distribution, and sale of medical cannabis in the state.

Georgia legalized medical cannabis oil for qualified patients in April of 2015 when then-governor Nathan Deal [R] signed Haleigh’s Hope Act (HHA) into law.

But even though HHA allowed patients to use cannabis oil legally, it did not allow for production or sales within Georgia, leaving people to find sources outside the state.

Governor Deal signed HB65 in May of 2018, which authorized the formation of the Joint Study Commission on Low THC Medical Oil Access in August to research the access of low-THC oil and explore related issues including cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensing.

The Commission ultimately recommended that the General Assembly should pass legislation to license ten cannabis cultivators and permit as many dispensaries as necessary to ensure adequate access across the state.

In February of 2019, legislators introduced HB324, a bipartisan bill to allow the production and sale of cannabis oil in Georgia under the authority of a seven-member Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission; to be created under the act.

The General Assembly gave final approval to HB324 on April 2 with a 33 to 20 vote in the Senate before sending it to Governor Kemp’s desk.

Under HB324, patients with seizure disorders, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, or any of the 16 qualifying conditions will have in-state access to medical cannabis oil containing up to 5% THC.

HB324 creates medical cannabis cultivation licenses for up to six private growers and two designated universities.