The Georgia House Regulated Industries Committee unanimously approved legislation March 1 that would revive the rollout of the state’s medical cannabis program, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

State Rep. Alan Powell’s (R-Hartwell) House Bill 1400 would allow the state to license 16 companies that protested Georgia’s licensing process and have since held up the rollout of a regulated program to provide low-THC oil to registered patients.

After years of regulatory limbo that allowed registered patients in Georgia to legally possess—but not purchase—the oil (which must contain no more than 5% THC), the Legislature passed legislation in the spring of 2019 to legalize the production and sale of the oil in the state.

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The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission then licensed six companies in July 2021 to produce and sell the oil to the state’s patients, but 16 unsuccessful applicants challenged the licensing process, which has since delayed the rollout of the program.

Powell’s H.B. 1400 would allow the commission to issue additional licenses to those 16 applicants, rather than waiting for their protests to advance through an administrative process to evaluate the complaints.

“We passed a bill three years ago to allow for the growing and processing of medical cannabis, and three years later it’s still not come to fruition,” Powell told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Sometimes things happen, but that doesn’t make it right.”

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With approval from the House Regulated Industries Committee, H.B. 1400 now heads to the full House for consideration.