Georgia green lights two companies to grow medical cannabis

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 6:06 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - It’s a huge step forward for the tens of thousands of Georgians with epilepsy, cancer, chronic pain and more.

“We are so excited to get to work. It’s been a long time coming,” said Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers.

Trulieve and Botanical Sciences are the two companies Georgia has approved for licenses to grow and produce medical cannabis.

It’s a move that puts some patients one step closer to accessing cannabis oil, which was legalized in Georgia in 2015.

The licensing process was stalled by legal challenges, forcing Georgians to have to wait years to access medical cannabis.

Trulieve’s CEO says with the license there’s finally movement in getting their products to patients. She says they are operating from their facility in Adel.

“We have folks on site today beginning the cultivation process at our facility so that we can get this life-changing medication to patients in Georgia.”

Parents like Sebatian Cotte are cautiously optimistic.

“I am happy for that but I think we all have to understand that this is far from being over,” said Cotte.

Sebastian’s son Jagger suffers from a rare neurological disorder.

He moved his family from Atlanta to Colorado so his son could be treated with cannabis oil. He and his family are now back in Georgia.

“Jagger just turned 12 and a big part of it is because of cannabis oil,” said Cotte. “It was many things but cannabis has a lot to do with Jagger being alive today.”

State law requires companies to begin production within a year.

“There will be no delays from our vantage point,” said Rivers.

Both companies will be authorized to open five dispensaries.

“By placing our stores across the state not just in a single metropolitan area, that’s definitely part of our ethos and who we are and secondly offering a variety of products knowing that no two ailments are necessarily the same” said Rivers.

In a statement to CBS 46, Botanical Sciences Founder and CEO Dr. Robin Fowler said:

“Botanical Sciences is honored to have been selected for and awarded a Class 1 production license by the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission. It looks forward to improving the lives of Georgians with much-needed and long-awaited medicine.”