Low-THC cannabis oil will soon be available in some Georgia pharmacies as officials hope to make access to the products easier for the state’s registered medical cannabis patients, the Associated Press reports. Georgia is the first state in the nation to allow medical cannabis to be sold at independent pharmacies.
The Georgia Board of Pharmacy began accepting applications last week, and nearly 120 pharmacies have agreed to provide medication from Botanical Sciences, one of the state’s two licensed production companies, the report says. Currently, patients must obtain their medicine from one of just seven licensed cannabis dispensaries in the state that have opened since April.
Gary Long, CEO for Botanical Sciences, told the AP that “Pharmacists have been fielding questions from patients for years without ever having the ability to do anything about it.”
Gov. Brian Kemp (R) approved rules last month passed by the state Pharmacy Board clearing the way for pharmacies to begin selling the low-THC oil, which can contain no more than 5% THC. There are more than 400 independent pharmacies in Georgia and Jonathan Marquess, vice president for the Georgia Pharmacy Association and the owner of several pharmacies in the Atlanta area, told the AP that he expects most would be interested in carrying the products.
National chains like CVS and Walgreens will not sell the medical cannabis products, the report says.
“We’re going to have patients that need this health care in some remote parts of Georgia that probably would never have a dispensary near them,” Marquess told the AP. “But they do have a caring professional, a knowledgeable professional pharmacist, in their communities who can talk to them.”
There are currently about 14,000 registered medical cannabis patients in Georgia, according to state Department of Public Health data, which had previously been miscounting the number of medical cannabis patients and caregivers by as many as 36,000. (Full Story)