May 1, 2023 - News

Georgia’s medical cannabis dispensaries open for business

A family with a daughter who uses a wheelchair purchases medical cannabis while news crews take photos and video

Jim Wages purchases legal medical cannabis for his daughter, Sydney, at Trulieve‘s Marietta store. Photo: Thomas Wheatley/Axios

Trulieve Georgia, one of two companies awarded a state license to produce and sell medical cannabis, opened the doors to its shops in Marietta and Macon on Friday.

Why it matters: The 27,000+ Georgians who signed up for the state's medical cannabis registry can now legally — finally — purchase low-THC oil in person.

  • Patients and families who say low-THC oil brings them relief from seizures, terminal cancer and other serious medical conditions have waited nearly a decade for the state to make medical cannabis available to legally purchase.

How it works: Customers sign in and show their photo ID state-issued registry card to the receptionist. Then they enter a showroom that looks like a cross between a jewelry store and a Gen Z-friendly wealth management firm.

  • The stores carry tinctures ($40-$60) and capsules ($40) in indica, sativa and hybrid varieties and topical ointments ($30).
  • Medical cannabis in Georgia is limited to 5% THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that gives users a high.

What they're saying: Jim and Lisa Wages' daughter Sydney lives with epilepsy and uses a wheelchair. The Dallas, Georgia, family made the first purchase at the Marietta store.

  • "I don't want to compare this to a monetary value, but we just hit the lottery," Jim said. "We finally got to a point where we could walk into a store and not meet in a parking lot to pick up our oil."
  • Ken Moore was one of the first customers standing in line at the Cobb Parkway location. The Woodstock resident told Axios he no longer has to drive to Cherokee, N.C., to buy the low-THC oil he takes to manage back and knee pain.

The big picture: Core metro Atlanta counties like Fulton, Cobb and Gwinnett have the largest number of people on the registry.

  • Andrew Turnage, the executive director of the state commission that regulates medical cannabis, told WABE he expects the number of registered patients to reach 100,000.

What's next: Trulieve's next stores will be in Columbus, Newnan and Pooler. Chief sales officer Tim Morey told Axios that they're still having conversations with other cities and counties.

  • Botanical Sciences, the other company to score a license, plans to open a dispensary near Windy Hill Road and I-75, WABE reports.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Atlanta.

More Atlanta stories