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Independent pharmacies could soon sell medical cannabis

By Abby Kousouris Published: Jun. 15, 2023 at 3:35 PM PDT OG Article: here

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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The Georgia Board of Pharmacy voted on Wednesday to approve a plan to give independent pharmacies a license to sell medical marijuana products.

If signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp, this move would expand access to medical cannabis in areas of the state that currently do not have distributors.

Cannabis advocate Stanley Atkins II said cannabis changed his life. He was sick and losing too much weight. Doctors told him he only had months left to live.

“It has truly improved my quality of life. I have been able to gain weight. This is not a recreational program, this is not an adult use program, this is a medicinal program,” said Atkins.

Atkins lives in Griffin. He has to travel at least an hour to get to one of the two dispensaries in the state. There is currently. One dispensary in Macon, and one in Marietta. His concern is for patients with chronic pain, who may not have the time, money, or strength to travel long distances.

“Now we can hopefully have pharmacies in their neighborhoods,” said Atkins.

The Georgia Department of Public Health’s Low THC Oil Patient Registry is growing. They currently have over 27,000 patients. The list of diseases that qualify for cannabis oil includes cancer, seizures, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The state’s Medical Cannabis Commission approved licenses for two companies, Trulieve and Botanical Sciences. They are adding additional stores in areas like Newnan Columbus, Pooler, and Augusta.

There are more than 700 independent pharmacies in the state. Pharmacist Ira Katz is a proponent of the board of pharmacy’s decision. He is hoping it will be approved.

“Medical cannabis needs to be in the hands of independent pharmacies. So that way we can do a good job consulting with our patients. Whether it be a tincture, gummies, or soft gels, whatever the patients need,” said Katz.

He says these records just like prescription records will need to be monitored on a daily basis

We reached out to Governor Brian Kemp’s office to see if he had any plans of signing the measure into law. They told Atlanta News First that an announcement will be made once any decision is reached.


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