The Sheriffs have long supported the use of low THC oil for children with severe seizure disorders but not the expansion to include other medical conditions.
Since the introduction of the first bill for use of low THC oil our legislators have continued to add to the list of conditions and now seek to allow “cultivating and harvesting cannabis or hemp products for use in producing low THC oil”.
House Bill 324 states, “no later than January 1, 2020 the department shall issue five (5) Class 1 production licenses” for “growing unlimited amounts of cannabis or hemp products only in indoor facilities for use in producing low TCH oil”. Each of these Class 1 licenses can “operate up to five (5) safe access retail outlets state wide”. That is a total of 25 retail outlets.
$10 million in available cash reserves to invest in operation in this state $5 million cash bond or irrevocable letter of credit
It also states, “no later than January 1, 2020 the department shall issue five (5) Class 2 production licenses” for “growing cannabis or hemp products only in indoor facilities for use in producing low THC oil, limited to 20,000 square feet of cultivation space”. Each of the Class 2 licenses can “operate up to three (3) safe access retail outlets”. That is another 15 retail outlets.
- $1 million in available cash reserves to invest in operations in this state
- No Bond
Also, “no later than January 1, 2020 the department shall issue ten (10) safe access retail licneses” that can “operate up to two (2) safe access retail outlets”. That is another 20 retail outlets.
- $250,000 in available cash reserves to invest in operations in this state
- No Bond
Issues we the undersigned Sheriff’s see with House Bill 324
This bill creates the “Office of Low THC Oil Control” within the Department of Public Health and tasks them with 12 paragraphs and around 25 lines (161-185) in the bill of formulating all forms, applications, oversite procedures, data collection, implementation, testing procedures, facility inspections, complaints, rules, regulation, product tracking, etc… all by December 1, 2019 and not one word as to how that is to be funded. Why the rush? This is too short of a time to be done properly. This bill creates the “Low THC Oil License Oversight Board” for reviewing and approving applications
is not compensated, however, they can have a daily allowance for meeting plus reimbursement for transposition which is standard. They may also “contract for necessary goods and services and employ necessary personnel to assist in carrying out the duties required under this article as it deems advisable”. How funded? Class 1 licenses is to “grow unlimited amounts of cannabis or hemp products”. Products are not defined and unlimited for 8,000 patients currently.
. Class 1 licenses shows $10 million for investment and $5 million bond. Why would 5 companies make
that big of an investment for only 8,000 patients. Are they planning on this to expand? Total retail outlets allowed by this bill is 60. Again, why so many outlets for 8,000 patients. The bill also allows for home delivery. The background checks are performed by the Georgia Crime Information Center which only covers Georgia. They need to be fingerprinted for a national check. Alcohol servers have to be fingerprinted
- Convicted felons may work at and/or possibly have ownership so long as the conviction is 10 years old.
The temptation is too risky. This bill does not require by law that a person requesting the low THC oil present their state issued Medical card yet state law requires ID to purchase alcohol.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigations is given all access but nothing gives local Sheriff’s or Police Departments access. Also, no specific funding for the GBI regarding their responsibilities.
No mandatory annual or biannual inspections. Mandated by law.
- Department of Agriculture prohibited from regulation.
- No oversight by the Pharmaceutical Board yet this is for medicine.
- No Opt In or Opt Out for local government.
No limit on how many outlets can be in any given geographical location. Like the methadone clinics, will they flood an area like Catoosa County that is at the state line with a major interstate? Trying to draw customers from neighboring states. “Products” needs to be better defined with strict limitations.
The other states that have moved forward in this area are currently telling us that we should slow down and learn from their mistakes as they have to go back and fix a lot of their legislation.