Georgia To Become First State With Medical Marijuana Products Sold At Pharmacies

Georgia will soon become the first state in the US where medical marijuana products can be purchased at independent pharmacies.

Nearly 120 pharmacies have agreed to provide medical marijuana from Botanical Sciences, one of the state’s two licensed production companies, following the Georgia Board of Pharmacy opening the application process. State officials expect it to take at least a few more weeks before any of these pharmacies will actually start carrying medical marijuana. Before the board can grant approvals inspections will need to take place.

Under Georgia’s restrictive medical marijuana law (passed in 2019), those with certain medical conditions such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease and PTSD are authorized to purchase and possess low-THC marijuana oil, if they receive a recommendation from a licensed physician.

Seven dispensaries have opened throughout the state since April, but access through pharmacies will greatly increase availability for patients.

“Pharmacists have been fielding questions from patients for years without ever having the ability to do anything about it,” said Gary Long, CEO for Botanical Sciences. “Finally, they have the ability not just to give people advice but provide them with the therapies they’ve been seeking.”

Long says that following pharmacies opening their doors, 90% of those in Georgia will live within 30-minutes of easy access to medical marijuana.

“Pharmacists are a trusted provider, and it’s a way for us to destigmatize this new medicine,” said Mindy Leech, a pharmacist and the owner of Lee-King Pharmacy in Newnan. “It will make people more comfortable if they want to come in and ask questions about it.”

“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,” said Jonathan Marquess, vice president for the Georgia Pharmacy Association and the owner of several pharmacies in the Atlanta area. “But they do have a caring professional, a knowledgeable professional pharmacist, in their communities who can talk to them.”

There are over 400 independent pharmacies in Georgia.

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