ATLANTA — The state of Georgia will award six companies special licenses on Saturday that will allow them to produce and distribute low-THC cannabis oil to nearly 14,000 legally registered patients across the state.
The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission went through more than 70 applications by businesses wanting the right to manufacture the medical cannabis oil.
It will narrow the field down to two Class One production license contracts to companies with a production space capacity of 100,000 square feet, and four Class Two production license contracts to companies with a production space capacity of 50,000 square feet.
The contracts come after years of lobbying by parents and families of children and others who need the low-THC oil to help control and ease debilitating and incurable conditions.
Jimmy Wages’ daughter Sydney needs the oil to help control seizures. He’s been lobbying lawmakers at the State Capitol for seven years to get the oil legalized and to this point Saturday.
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“It’s been a long road fighting at the Capitol,” Wages said from his Paulding County home. “I see really how politics somehow works. We have had some great representatives and senators down there that had seen our fight and said, let’s help these people. Let’s help these people help their children.”
Even though lawmakers legalized medical cannabis oil, it was illegal to produce it in Georgia or to bring it across state lines.
Parents like Wages had to risk jail time getting the oil into Georgia. These license contracts will change that.
“I want to be able to walk into a store, place my money down, take my daughter’s medicine out the door and come home,” Wages said. “That’s the thing we’ve been working on for the last seven years.”
The commission will announce the contract recipients at a meeting in Rock Springs on Saturday.
They estimate it could take six to eight months for the companies to get their operations up and running and make the low-THC oil available to the patients on the registry list.
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