2021 Georgia Code
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 12 - Offenses Against Public Health and Morals
Article 9 - Access to Medical Cannabis
Part 2 - Role of Commission
§ 16-12-211. Class 1 Production Licenses; Application Fee; Revocation; Limitation on Ownership
- The commission may issue up to two Class 1 production licenses. A Class 1 production licensee shall be authorized to:
- Grow cannabis only in indoor facilities for use in producing low THC oil, limited to 100,000 square feet of cultivation space; and
- Manufacture low THC oil and products.
- Class 1 production licenses shall be issued to applicants selected by the commission following a competitive application and review process in accordance with the requirements set forth in this part. An applicant must be a Georgia corporation or entity and shall maintain a bank account with a bank or credit union located in this state. An applicant for a Class 1 production license shall submit an application on a form established by the commission, together with the following information:
- Proof of available capital to make the investments needed to safely, securely, and promptly perform all required functions of a licensee. Prior to issuance of a Class 1 production license, the applicant shall provide written documentation showing that on the date of application and award such applicant holds at least $2 million in available cash reserves to invest in operations in this state;
- A written production plan detailing the production processes that, at a minimum, includes details describing how the chain of custody will be maintained, documented, and made available for review by the commission or the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Production processes shall include compliance with all production standards, laws, and regulations needed to protect public safety and ensure product purity;
- A comprehensive security plan that ensures compliance with the applicable laws of this state. At a minimum, a security plan shall include a 24 hours per day, seven days per week interior and exterior video monitoring and intrusion detection monitoring system, recording and video storage capabilities for all facilities, and licensed security personnel. The entire premises of licensees shall be equipped with a centralized access control system capable of generating detailed reports of access logs for a minimum of one year. All videos, access logs, and any other monitoring data shall be available to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation upon request. The commission is authorized to set requirements for the minimum technology, resolution, and storage capacity of at least 45 days for the video recording capabilities of licensees;
- A written plan detailing specific security measures to ensure secured transportation and tracking of delivered products for intrafacility transportation;
- A detailed employment plan specifying the jobs and salaries of employees and demonstrating the expected economic impact of proposed activities in Georgia;
- A written plan to ensure that no pesticides are used at any point in the production process other than those certified organic by the Organic Materials Review Institute or another similar standards organization;
- Detailed designs of all production facilities;
- Letters of support from one or more local governmental entities where the primary facilities will be located;
- A demonstration of significant involvement in the business by one or more minority business enterprises as defined in Code Section 50-5-131, either as co-owners of the business or as significant suppliers of goods and services for the business. Such applicants shall be encouraged to form business relationships with Georgia agricultural businesses and military veterans;
- Documentation of the applicant's industry capabilities and management experience. The commission shall consider the relevant industry experience and strength of the applicant's management team and board of directors when considering its merits;
- Sufficient documentation to prove that a $1.5 million cash bond or for any licenses that are applied for on or after July 1, 2021, other comparable surety as determined by the commission, payable to the State of Georgia or an irrevocable letter of credit can be obtained within 30 days of license award. Failure to provide the requisite bond or letter of credit within 30 days of the license award date shall be cause for revocation of the license;
- At least one set of classifiable electronically recorded fingerprints submitted to the commission in accordance with the fingerprint system of identification established by the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The commission shall transmit the fingerprints to the Georgia Crime Information Center, which shall submit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a search of bureau records and an appropriate report and shall promptly conduct a search of state records based upon the fingerprints. After receiving the report from the Georgia Crime Information Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the commission shall review the record for all owners, officers, and employees of the applicant demonstrating a lack of convictions, except for felony convictions that are greater than ten years old, are not drug related, or have been expunged or pardoned; and
- A description of any efforts made by the applicant to create jobs or locate facilities in tier one or tier two counties as defined in Code Section 48-7-40.
- An applicant for a Class 1 production license shall submit a nonrefundable application fee in the amount of $25,000.00 concurrent with submission of the application.
- Upon award of a Class 1 production license, an applicant shall be required to submit an initial license fee of $200,000.00, and upon annual renewal, a license renewal fee of $100,000.00.
- A Class 1 production license shall be revoked if the licensee is not operational within 12 months of the award date.
- No person or entity holding an ownership interest in a license issued under this Code section may hold an ownership interest in any other type of license issued under this part.
- No person or entity or director or officer of such entity may hold an ownership interest in more than one Class 1 production license at any one time.
- Ownership interests in more than one license shall be cause for revocation of all licenses.
(Code 1981, §16-12-211, enacted by Ga. L. 2019, p. 43, § 4/HB 324; Ga. L. 2021, p. 184, § 9/SB 195.)
The 2021 amendment, effective July 1, 2021, added "and products" at the end of paragraph (a)(2); inserted "or credit union" in the second sentence of subsection (b); inserted "or for any licenses that are applied for on or after July 1, 2021, other comparable surety as determined by the commission," in the first sentence of paragraph (b)(11); and deleted former subsection (g), which read: "In the event a license issued pursuant to this Code section is revoked by the commission or surrendered by the licensee, the commission shall be authorized to issue a replacement license through a competitive application and review process conducted in accordance with this Code section."Editor's notes.
- Ga. L. 2021, p. 184, § 28/SB 195, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to change, amend, or alter any criteria for applications for a Class 1 or Class 2 production license submitted to the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission on or prior to January 27, 2021."