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DEA Highlights THC Limits for Pharmacies, Complicating Georgia's Medical Marijuana Program

Cannabis leaves

A possible snag to Georgia’s developing medical marijuana program. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued a memorandum in late November warning that no pharmacy on the agency’s register can lawfully dispense marijuana and related products containing more than .3% THC. Georgia law allows eligible patients to buy cannabis oil with up to 5% THC, far below the level of the compound found in marijuana illegally purchased off the street.

The DEA said it considers products with a THC content above 0.3% to be marijuana, which is a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Despite the federal ban on the sale, use, and possession of cannabis in the U.S., in October, Georgia became the first U.S. state to allow pharmacies to sell low-dose THC products.

One further factor complicating the DEA’s notice is a federal appropriations rider that prevents the Department of Justice from expending appropriated funds to halt states from implementing their own medical marijuana laws. It’s unknown how the state’s medical cannabis commission will respond, leaving the 23 independent pharmacies in Georgia that are licensed to sell the product in a difficult position.

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