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Georgia Becomes First State to Introduce Medical Marijuana in Pharmacies

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Georgia Becomes First State to Offer Medical Marijuana in Pharmacies

Georgia is set to become the first state in the United States to provide medical marijuana products at independent pharmacies. The Georgia Board of Pharmacy has begun accepting applications, with approximately 120 pharmacies agreeing to offer medication from Botanical Sciences, one of the state's licensed production companies. It is expected to take a few weeks before medical marijuana is available in pharmacies, as inspections and approvals from the board are required. The expansion of medical cannabis sales into drug stores will make low THC oil, which is used to treat severe illnesses such as seizures, terminal cancers, Parkinson's disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder, more accessible to patients.

Benefits for Patients and Pharmacies

The move to sell medical marijuana at pharmacies will benefit patients by making the treatment more readily available. Patients will be able to purchase cannabis oil at pharmacies by presenting a state-issued low THC oil registry card and identification. This development also allows pharmacists to play a more active role in providing advice and therapies to patients seeking medical marijuana, thus destigmatizing the medicine and making it more accessible.

Regulatory Progress

The distribution of low THC oil was approved by the Georgia General Assembly in 2019, but it has taken years to establish regulations for safety, inspections, licensing, and distribution. Governor Brian Kemp recently approved rules passed by the Georgia Board of Pharmacy, paving the way for pharmacy sales to commence. This milestone ensures that patients in remote parts of Georgia, who may not have had access to a dispensary, can now receive medical marijuana treatment from their local pharmacies.
Impact on Independent Pharmacies
Over 400 independent pharmacies in Georgia are expected to show interest in selling low THC oil, providing patients with convenient access to medical marijuana. While national drugstores like CVS and Walgreens are not currently selling the product, the involvement of independent pharmacies will ensure that access to medical marijuana is available in virtually every county in the state. In conclusion, Georgia's introduction of medical marijuana in pharmacies marks a significant milestone in the accessibility and availability of cannabis-based treatment for patients. This development not only benefits patients by making medical marijuana more accessible but also empowers pharmacists to play a vital role in providing guidance and support to those seeking this form of treatment.

Implications of Medical Marijuana in Pharmacies for New Businesses

Georgia's pioneering move to offer medical marijuana in pharmacies could significantly impact new businesses in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. As the first state in the U.S. to take this step, Georgia is setting a precedent that could potentially reshape the landscape of medical marijuana distribution nationwide.

Opportunities for New Businesses

This development opens the door for new businesses to explore the medical marijuana industry. With approximately 120 pharmacies already agreeing to provide medication from one of the state's licensed production companies, there's a clear indication of the market's readiness to embrace this change. New businesses can leverage this opportunity to provide patients with more accessible treatment options.

Regulatory Considerations

The approval of low THC oil distribution by the Georgia General Assembly in 2019 has paved the way for this breakthrough. However, it's crucial for new businesses to understand the regulatory landscape, which includes safety, inspections, licensing, and distribution. Compliance with these regulations will be key to their success.
Competitive Landscape
While national drugstores like CVS and Walgreens are not currently selling medical marijuana, over 400 independent pharmacies in Georgia are expected to show interest. This could create a competitive environment for new businesses, pushing them to innovate and offer superior products and services. In conclusion, Georgia's decision to offer medical marijuana in pharmacies presents both opportunities and challenges for new businesses. It's a significant step towards making medical marijuana more accessible, but it also demands careful navigation of the regulatory landscape and the competitive market.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/georgia-will-be-first-state-with-medical-marijuana-in-pharmacies
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