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DEA Tells GA Not To Allow Pharmacies To Sell Medical Pot

Federal officials are warning Georgia to halt plans to be the first state to allow pharmacies to dispense medical marijuana products. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration told pharmacies that dispensing medical marijuana violates federal law. The Georgia Board of Pharmacy began accepting applications in October to dispense the products, reports the Associated Press. Licenses have been issued to 23 Georgia independent pharmacies. The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission, which oversees Georgia’s fledgling medical marijuana industry, can’t override the federal directive, even though pharmacies are allowed to dispense the products under state law.

Andrew Turnage, commission executive director, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution the state wants pharmacists to to continue providing consultations for medical cannabis products as they do with other medication. DEA said none of them can lawfully possess, handle or dispense marijuana or related products containing more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol — the psychoactive chemical known as THC that gives users a high. Georgia lets patients with medical needs buy medical marijuana products with up to 5% THC. Marijuana sold for recreational use typically has a higher level. Nationwide, 24 states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Another 23 allow some form of medical cannabis. The federal stance could change if a proposal to loosen restrictions on marijuana goes through. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in August proposed taking marijuana off the banned list of Schedule I substances and reclassifying it as a lower-risk Schedule III drug.


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