The Status of Cannabis Legalization in Georgia
In April 2023, the first legal medical cannabis dispensaries opened in Georgia. Qualifying patients can now purchase low-THC cannabis oil at a licensed dispensary with their registry card. Toward the end of August 2023, the Georgia government approved licenses for three new dispensaries, bringing the total number of dispensaries up to ten.
Georgia HB1, also called Haleigh’s Hope Act, was enacted in the 2015-2016 legislative session, enabling Georgia locals to legally consume medical cannabis for certain qualifying conditions. Unlike other states, Georgia sets itself apart with the “Low THC Oil Registry Card,” allowing cardholders to possess up to 20 fluid ounces of the medicinal prescription if they have a qualifying condition certified by a physician.
The Georgia Department of Health reports explicitly that the Peach State “law is much more limited than some other states’ medical marijuana laws.” It is. Georgia prohibits the purchase or possession of cannabis in flower form, nor does it allow edibles or vape pens. What the southeastern state has done is address decriminalizing the possession of cannabis, fining citizens rather than having them serve jail time.
While Georgia continues to certify citizens to purchase low THC oil legally, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney asked Gov. Ralph Northam in August 2020 to legalize marijuana in the August 18th General Assembly, reports WRIC news. Like many states that have legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes, Georgia officials are beginning to push for full recreational use, though a spat of unresolved license lawsuit is slowing the process down.
What are the qualifying conditions?
More than a dozen qualifying conditions make Georgia residents eligible to receive a THC-oil registry card. The state certifies patients who have:
Aside from having a qualifying condition, Georgia residents must also meet additional state requirements for a THC-oil registry card. Patients must be able to supply a current driver’s license or state identification card showing proof of residency. After approval for certification and a $25 registration fee, the Georgia Department of Public Health contacts registered cardholders, who must pick up their certification from one of 20 statewide offices.
Application Process in Georgia
The Georgia Department of Public Health states that in order to legally possess low-THC cannabis oil, you must be on the national registry. There are two forms to be completed and sent in: one is a waiver to be signed by the applicant and the physician, and the other is a medical certification form to be filled out by a doctor. The doctor submits the form, and if the state approves, the Georgia DPH will notify the applicant that they can pay for a Low THC Oil Registry Card from a neighboring public health office for $25.
Becoming a Caregiver in Georgia
Like the patient, a caregiver must also consult with a physician and provide proof of residence to be able to register for a low THC-oil card with the Georgia DPH in order to purchase or possess the prescription for their loved one. The registration fee is $25 and the registration remains valid for two years after approval. DPH defines caregivers as the parent, guardian, or legal guardian of an individual under the age of 18 or an adult’s legal guardian.
Possession and Cultivation of Medical Marijuana in Georgia
Georgia law only allows the legal possession of up to 20 fluid ounces of low THC cannabis oil (high CBD) for residents who have a registered state card. According to the state, “It does not make the sale or possession of all types of marijuana legal in Georgia,” and sale or possession of other types of cannabis other than low THC oil remains a violation of state and federal regulations. Additionally, possession and cultivation of an entire plant is not permitted.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sign up with Veriheal for a 10-15 minute consultation with a certified physician. After approval, fill out the two forms required by the state. One is a waiver to be signed by the applicant and the physician, and the other is a medical certification form to be filled out by a doctor.
The doctor submits the form, and if the state approves, the Georgia DPH will notify the applicant that they can pay for a Low THC Oil Registry Card from a neighboring public health office for $25.
The cost for the medical marijuana consultation with Veriheal is $199, with a full guarantee that if not approved, payment will be reimbursed immediately. Georgia charges a $25 registration fee separate from Veriheal, which keeps the card valid for two years.
No, Georgia does not offer any physician referrals, which is why Veriheal has set up shop in the Peach State to assist residents who wish to apply for a medical cannabis card to purchase low THC oil.
Georgia only permits the sale of low THC oil up to 20 fluid ounces per patient. If a medical cannabis card holder in the state is caught buying/using flowers, edibles, or a pen, they are not exempt from state or federal charges that come with using illegally.
To qualify for a medical card in Georgia, you must be 18 or older with a written diagnosis for one or more of the state’s qualifying conditions: AIDS/HIV, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)/Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cancer, Crohn’s Disease, Epidermolysis Bullosa, Intractable Pain, Mitochondrial Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Peripheral Neuropathy, PTSD, Seizures Characteristic of Epilepsy, Sickle Cell Disease, Terminal Illness, and Tourette’s Syndrome.
While “chronic pain” is not listed under qualifying conditions, intractable pain is. So, yes, it is a qualifying condition.
Yes, renewing your medical card is easy with Veriheal. Georgia patients will need to renew their card every two years by seeing a licensed physician again. Veriheal will get in touch with you when your certification is approaching its expiration to help you setup a renewal consultation.
Yes. To be approved for a medical cannabis license in the state of Georgia, an applicant must provide either a state driver’s license or identification card to show proof of residency.
That depends on the state you are visiting, which is why it is important to contact the region to find out their medical cannabis rules and regulations.
After you book an appointment to see one of Veriheal’s licensed medical marijuana doctors, who can certify you for cannabis treatment if you are approved, they will assist you with completing your application with the state for final approval.
Veriheal will help you make an appointment with a Georgia physician who can certify patients who are approved for a medical marijuana card.
From consultation to approval, the medical card process in Georgia generally takes around three to five months.