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Marijuana dispensaries may open in Georgia with HB 645, HBCUs can profit

Photo credit: Mitch M /

Last year, the state of Georgia expanded its medical marijuana laws and increased access for some patients. The law in Georgia currently allows those with qualifying conditions to possess up to 20 ounces of low THC oil, the active component in marijuana that causes a high. However, the state has no mechanism set up where a person can purchase their medication easily and legally in Georgia.

This year new legislation will be introduced that will expand the access to marijuana oil with HB 645. This bill will allow for 10 medical marijuana dispensaries to be opened across the state of Georgia and two of the dispensaries will be allowed to cultivate, harvest and produce medical marijuana oil. The bill is being sponsored by state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, who has been on the forefront of Georgians having access to medical marijuana. “Citizens want us to act, so why not structure something that’s regulated, restricted and provides a safe product for our citizens? Georgians want us to find a solution,” he said.

Within the bill is the possibility for a Georgia-based HBCU to be a part of the important business of marijuana. The bill states in its current form that Georgia colleges and universities have a chance to become one of the two dispensaries allowed to cultivate, harvest and produce medical marijuana oil. The bill reads: “Postsecondary educational institutions 96 within this state shall have the right of first refusal to be licensed as a production facility, 97 either separately or jointly.”

If no school will come forward, then the two grow dispensaries will be placed in a sealed bid process. Currently, there are 30 states that allow medical marijuana cultivation and distribution and eight states have legalized marijuana for recreational use.