Who Wins Georgia Cannabis Licenses?
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One of the next states to issue licenses will be Georgia. This southern state has a large population and is starting a limited licensing program where the Georgian Medical Cannabis Access Commission will only issue six licenses. The Atlanta Journal Constitution just reported that the state received nearly 70 filings, but the applicant’s information is not public. However, we have deduced some of the likely applicants below.
The Commission can issue up to two Class 1 production licenses. A Class 1 production licensee may: (1) grow cannabis only indoors to produce low-THC oil limited to 100,000 square feet of growing space; and (2) make low-THC oil.
The Commission can issue up to four Class 2 production licenses. A Class 2 production licensee may: (1) grow cannabis only indoors to produce low-THC oil limited to 50,000 square feet of growing space; and (2) make low-THC oil.
Both types of license are associated with high application and renewal fees as well as proof of capital and loan or credit. These licenses are expected to be issued in late spring or early summer.
When we started Cannabiz Media, we focused solely on cannabis licenses, companies, and contacts. The issuing of licenses usually takes place after a long process of coordination, horse trading and the drafting of regulations. When a license gets into our database, there is a very long way to go. However, this long process does throw off some fumes along the way that may indicate possible future outcomes. Two sources of this information are business formation and lobbying.
A proven approach to understanding a jurisdiction is to register to do business there. This can give the management team the opportunity to be on site and meet the business residence requirements when searching for a license. Looking at the list of known MSOs, we noticed that these are registered in Georgia:
Five of them were founded in 2020. Parallel / aka Surterra Holdings mentioned in their just-released Deal Deck that they filed an application for cultivation, production and retail licenses last month and “We believe we will be the only MSO based in Georgia (company office) benefit us during the review process. “I’m not sure if that will count, but the hometown heroes know the people. One of the application forms asks the following:
Georgia-Based Company – Georgia-based company is any company that regularly maintains a location from which it does business in Georgia for at least a year prior to making an offer or proposal to the state or new Georgia-based company and that regularly maintains a location from which business in Georgia is physically conducted; provided, however, that a place from which business is done does not contain a PO Box, rented private PO Box, location tag, or temporary structure.
Of course, new rules and regulations bring out the entrepreneur in all of us. Here are some other state-registered companies related to cannabis:
- Burn Scouts Cannabis Company LLC
- Cannabis Mountain LLC
- Cannabis Please Get An Ice Cream, LLC
- Cannabisco, Inc.
- Ganja gods
- GANJAPHORIA, LLC
- Georgia Cannabis, Inc.
- MARIJUANA GIRL LLC
- Pretty women love Cannabis LLC
- THE CANNABIS FAIRY LLC
- The Institute of Advanced Cannabis Technology and Education LLC
Nabisco and the Boy Scouts may have some issues with the above. And Seaweedxxx may want to find the Florida Seafood Company, which has licensed CBD-infused alligator meat.
Another “tell” in the industry is lobbying. When reviewing the records for the above companies, all but Acreage employed lobbyists. The reasons given were varied, but I think it can be assumed that shaping the rules and regulations to reduce competition and create an oligopoly could have been part of the mandate.
Curaleaf’s efforts focused on “general business issues” while Surterra focused on AGRICULTURAL AND PHARMACEUTICAL ISSUES and ISSUES with potential implications for SURTERRA’s general business interests. Trulieve went to GEORGIA MEDICAL MARIJUANA LICENSING and HEALTHCARE AND HEALTHCARE LICENSING for help. Verano chose to EXPAND BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN GEORGIA and procurement, while Columbia Care was only active in healthcare and pharmaceuticals.
Points to think about
Who will receive the six licenses above? As we all know, it depends on how political the process is and how the judgment is handled. The application notes contain some details.
The scoring is divided into two sections. The first part is a pass / fail of the “mandatory requirements”. Then up to 1,000 points are awarded according to these nine criteria, but the points are not disclosed:
- Schedule A – Owner Profile
- Schedule B – Setup information
- Appendix C – Financial Information
- Schedule D – Ownership Structure
- Schedule E – Employment Schedule
- Schedule F – Local Government Assistance
- Schedule G – production schedule
- Schedule H – Seed to Sale Follow-Up Schedule
- Schedule I – Business Operations and Safety Plan
West Virginia recently licensed a number of its MSOs outside of the state, while Arkansas selected providers in the state years earlier. I would dare that Surterra / Parallel and Trulieve are well positioned as they are local even though Trulieve protested in December – maybe this will work against them.
Many counter protests have been filed, including one by ACC, LLC – a company held 90% by African American and 5% by a disability-related veteran related to the service. Pure Peach Therapeutics, GA Bioscience Research, Georgia Atlas and Veterans For Cannabis have all announced that they are applicants under the protest process. Most were reluctant that Trulieve was no longer in good shape and that a new date would delay medication for all patients in need.
Cannabiz Media customers can stay up to date on these and other new licenses through our newsletter, alert and reporting modules. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive these weekly reports in your inbox. You can also schedule a demo for more information on how to access the Cannabiz Media License Database yourself to delve further into this data.