Updated on May 11, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Medical marijuana use has been legal in Georgia since 2015, but the state legislature until 2020 had not allowed its production or sale.
On April 16, 2015, House Bill 1, otherwise known as “Haleigh’s Hope Act,” was passed in the State of Georgia, thereby allowing qualified patients to therapeutically use cannabidiol (CBD) cannabis oil contains no more than 5% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
1. Prospective patients that are looking to qualify for medical marijuana in the state of Georgia must first be recognized by authorities as an official resident of the state. Individuals are required to provide a valid proof of residency by way of a valid Georgia identification card.
2. It is urged that patients be prepared to obtain a copy of their previous medical records, or documents from a physician that has documented your medical diagnosis. These medical are imperative to determine if your diagnosis correlates with a qualifying condition that has been outlined by the state of Georgia. If you wish to learn how to request your medical records, please see our patient FAQ.
3. Patients must also be able to obtain written documentation from a licensed medical practitioner licensed in the state of Georgia to solidify that the patient’s diagnosis will be relieved by the therapeutic use of cannabis.
4. You must apply for and receive a medical marijuana card from the state of Georgia upon filing and submitting appropriate documentation.
Any patient seeking to qualify for medical marijuana must possess a chronic or debilitating medical diagnosis that greatly degrades their overall quality of life or a condition that has medical records clearly specifying an underlying condition that can be reviewed by a cannabis-recommending physician. This condition must also be approved under the State of Georgia’s regulated guidelines.
The patient must be under a licensed medical practitioner’s care for any previously determined conditions. Additionally, in the medical practitioner’s professional opinion, the patient will be most likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the primary or adjunctive treatment of cannabis.
The Haleigh’s Hope Act specifies the conditions that patients and caregivers must meet to legally possess 20 fluid ounces of low-THC oil.
The fundamental requirements for the possession and use of medical marijuana have been extracted from this legislative act and outlined below in a simple, easy-to-follow format.
To utilize medical cannabis in Georgia, you must:
Be an Official Resident — Only individuals who have been residing in Georgia for one year or more, or a child born in the state who is less than a year old, will be allowed to register to use low-THC oil. However, official Georgia residents who are living temporarily out-of-state will also be permitted to register for low-THC oil.
Get Certified by a Licensed Physician — Each applicant must be certified by a physician licensed in the state. This doctor must have a legitimate physician-patient relationship with the individual seeking treatment. The patient must be examined, and their medical records must prove that he or she has a condition that can be treated effectively with low-THC oil. The physician must also be responsible for treating the patient.
Obtain a Registration Card — A duly certified patient will be registered by the state department of public health. After registration, the department will issue a registration card to the patient. Similarly, caregivers will have to provide evidence that they are legal custodians responsible for the care of a minor or adult for whom they will be providing care. Then, they’ll be permitted to register for an ID card.