SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) – The wait is almost over for anyone who wants medical marijuana.
It’s not legal yet, but the City of Savannah hosted a workshop Thursday night to discuss how to proceed.
It’s a joint effort right now between the city and the Savannah Police Department to establish regulations and review where dispensaries can be located.
It will only be medicinal marijuana in the form of prescription oil. It will be a low level of THC that is not smokable, vapeable or edible.
There was a long discussion about how the city can ensure this process is inclusive.
Some board members are not supportive of the process so far.
“It’s a bit biased…discriminatory and so on. It will only benefit these six companies as far as the economy is concerned,” said Post 2 At-Large Alderman Alicia Miller Blakely.
Only 6 companies will be able to distribute in the state, but there can be several suppliers in the city.
There is also a regulated number of people who can have cultivation licenses.
“The state allowed these clinics to operate. They selected a number. We can’t talk about this process, but we want to make sure we’re ready,” said City Manager Jay Melder.
The city of Savannah is only moving ahead of the next legislative session by determining where the dispensaries will be located. The preliminary proposal is downtown outside the savannah booze overlays.
Alderman Bernetta Lanier thinks they need to be more consistent.
“Do we have liquor overlay pharmacies that sell opioids?”
They also have the Savannah Police Department looking at the public safety aspect to make sure the dispensaries won’t be a nuisance.
Alderman Nick Palumbo said he’s ready for a state decision and lawmakers have been arguing for too many years.
He said: “40,000 registered people with these permits who have cancer, who have suffered from seizures, who have suffered from multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, who are in hospice, have suffered as lawmakers like us have continued to wrangle over details.”
Savannah still prohibits any new marijuana-related licensing. The ban does not affect CBD stores that already sell products.
The city is still in the discussion phase. Their recommendations will go through the Metropolitan Planning Commission.
The MPC will incorporate their comments into the design plans.
Once the state legalizes it when they return to legislative session, the Savannah City Council will still have voting power.
The WTOC has extensively covered this state law in an exclusive digital series.
You can still watch Clearing the Cannabis Haze on WTOC+.
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