The Georgia Board of Pharmacy has begun accepting applications from independent, licensed pharmacies for authorization to dispense authorized medical marijuana products, and nearly 120 pharmacies reportedly have agreed to provide medication from Botanical Sciences, one of the state’s two licensed production companies, according to a company statement.

Under the new regulatory regime, Georgia will become the first state in the nation to offer medical marijuana products at independent pharmacies. More than 400 such pharmacies are in the state.

Although Georgia law forbids the growing, sale, or possession of marijuana in plant or leaf form, it authorizes the production, sale, or ingestion of food products infused with so-called low THC oil, or the inhalation of low THC oil through smoking, electronic vaping, or vapor, and permits persons with an active low-THC oil registry card to possess up to 20 fluid ounces of low THC oil for medicinal purposes.

Low THC oil can contain no more than 5% THC, the compound that gives users a high.

The Georgia General Assembly approved distribution of low THC oil as part of a state law passed in 2019, but it has taken years to create regulations for safety, inspections, licensing, and distribution. Gov. Brian Kemp approved rules last month that were passed by the Georgia Board of Pharmacy, clearing the way for pharmacy sales to begin.

The expansion of medical cannabis sales into drug stores will put low THC oil within reach of many more patients in Georgia, adding to the state’s seven dispensaries that have opened since April. Patients will be able to buy cannabis oil at pharmacies if they show a state-issued low THC oil registry card and identification.

Why It Matters

The new rules expand the medical marijuana market in Georgia and provide a model for other states to follow regarding pharmacy sales.

Our Cannabis Practice provides advice on issues related to applicable federal and state law. Marijuana remains an illegal controlled substance under federal law.