Commencement of Medical Cannabis Oil Sales in Georgia’s Pharmacies

On Friday, October 27, a significant milestone in the realm of cannabis occurred in Georgia and across the United States. It marked the inaugural day on which pharmacists were legally permitted to dispense cannabis products at their pharmacies.

Dr. Ankit Patel achieved the distinction of being the first pharmacist to engage in the sale of cannabis at his establishment, Robins Pharmacy. In an interview with CNN, Patel expressed his excitement about this historic event, emphasizing that he had eagerly awaited this opportunity for approximately four years. As soon as the announcement came that independent pharmacies were eligible to offer cannabis, Patel promptly completed the necessary licensing paperwork, fully aware of the importance of this momentous occasion.

Robins Pharmacy, located in the city of Warner Robins, was among the first? pioneers, alongside Omega Pharmacy and Allen Pharmacy Group, to secure a state license authorizing the sale of low-THC medical cannabis products characterized by a THC content of less than 5%. According to reports from People, more than 400 independent pharmacies in Georgia are eligible to participate in this program.

To gain approval from the state, pharmacies must undergo an inspection conducted by the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency. This inspection encompasses an evaluation of the pharmacy’s security measures and interviews with staff to assess their knowledge of and procedures for handling cannabis products.

Per state regulations, cannabis products must be stored alongside other prescription medications, a point stressed by Bill Posey, the owner of Allen Pharmacy Group. Posey emphasized that cannabis should be treated like any other “dangerous” pharmaceutical, comparing it to medications for high blood pressure, which are also classified as “dangerous” drugs in certain circumstances. Allen Pharmacy Group commenced cannabis sales on Monday, October 30, and reported receiving inquiries from interested customers, highlighting the demand for such products.

In a conversation with CNN, Posey noted that cannabis serves as a viable alternative to opioids. Georgia law permits medical cannabis for a total of 18 qualifying conditions, encompassing severe, terminal, or end-stage illnesses such as cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, seizure disorders, traumatic brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and many more.

Dr. Jordan Day, owner of Omega Pharmacy, expressed her intention to initiate medical cannabis sales later in the week. She also discussed the potential of cannabis to assist patients in reducing their reliance on opioids, emphasizing the valuable collaboration between pharmacists and doctors in guiding patients toward the most appropriate treatments.

Posey emphasized the personalized care offered by independent pharmacies, underscoring their commitment to treating customers like family and ensuring their well-being.

Dr. Patel actively informed his patients about the advantages of medical cannabis, particularly in light of the opioid shortage. He highlighted the natural and less addictive qualities of cannabis compared to opioids, encouraging patients to consider it as a legal option in Georgia.

Notably, on October 20, Andrew Turnage, the chair of the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Oil Commission, stated that this initiative would significantly enhance patient access to medical cannabis by reducing travel distances across the state.

The journey to this momentous day began when Governor Brian P. Kemp signed House Bill 324, also known as “Georgia’s Hope Act,” in April 2019, with the law taking effect in July of the same year. The legislation mandated the oversight of cannabis license regulation, cultivation, production, manufacturing, and sales of low-THC oil to the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission. Although the commission appointed its members in November 2019, it wasn’t until July 2021 that the state revamped its initial medical cannabis program and approved six companies to distribute cannabis.

In recent developments, Georgia officials revised their estimate of medical cannabis patients, revealing that the actual number is significantly lower than previously believed, primarily due to anomalies such as outdated patient cards and the inclusion of patients who had passed away since 2015.

Georgia Takes Historic Step: Pharmacies Approved to Sell Low-Dose Medical Marijuana

Georgia is set to become the inaugural U.S. state permitting the sale of low-dose medical marijuana through local pharmacies, marking a significant milestone four years after the state initially sanctioned the distribution of low-dose THC. This development was reported by CNN.

By the end of the year, individuals who meet specific criteria for medical cannabis use, as outlined by Georgia’s legislation, will have the option to purchase low-dose THC products at their nearby pharmacy. To clarify, this doesn’t imply that traditional cannabis joints will be available at pharmacies, as elucidated by Gary Long, the CEO of Botanical Sciences, one of the two licensed distributors of medical cannabis in Georgia, as reported by CNN.

This signifies that pharmacies across the state can seek approval from the Georgia Board of Pharmacy to sell products with a THC content of 5% or less. These products might surround items like oils, tinctures, topicals, capsules, and lozenges.

Pharmacist Jonathan Marquess expressed his enthusiasm for the initiative, stating that numerous patients in his area have eagerly awaited this development.

THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, is prescribed for conditions such as pain, nausea, and insomnia, despite its mind-altering effects.

Long revealed that 130 local pharmacies have committed to selling his products, with a considerable number of the state’s 400 independent pharmacies expressing interest in obtaining the necessary license, according to a professional association representing independent pharmacies.

The prospect of dispensing medical cannabis through pharmacies in a traditionally conservative state has generated significant attention and even some social media virality, as noted by Long.

The law, which was enacted in 2019, has faced prolonged delays in implementation, according to CNN. While three other states have laws permitting pharmacies to sell marijuana, they have not yet implemented this provision, as explained by Andrew Turnage, the executive director of the GA Access to Medical Cannabis Commission.

It is important to note that despite these state-level developments, the sale of any form of cannabis remains federally illegal.

Jay Wexler, a professor of law at Boston University School of Law, and author of ‘Weed Rules,’ highlighted the legal complexities surrounding cannabis at the federal level. He pointed out that many actions related to cannabis are formally illegal, but their enforcement remains a matter of debate.

Marquess emphasized the benefits of obtaining THC from a pharmacist, who can offer education, resources, and counseling to guide patients toward the most suitable product.

Other states are looking to replicate Georgia’s program, indicating its potential to serve as a model for preserving patient access in states grappling with the impact of recreational cannabis on their medical programs.

Long hopes that improved access will follow this development since Georgia’s medical marijuana law remains more restrictive compared to the laws in most other states, as reported by CNN. 

These restrictions include limited conditions for which doctors can prescribe the drug, such as specific diseases like certain stages of cancer, PTSD, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Aaron Smith, the executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, commended Georgia for aligning with the majority of states with medical cannabis programs but expressed a desire for a more patient-centric approach in line with the practices of other states.

The Healing Herb: Key Benefits of Cannabis in Medicine

In the ever-evolving landscape of modern medicine, one natural remedy has risen to the forefront, offering therapeutic possibilities. “Pain Relief through Cannabis” stands as a prominent and extensively researched medical application, showcasing the remarkable potential of this ancient plant to address a wide array of health concerns. Cannabis, with its diverse line up of cannabinoids, most notably THC and CBD, has captured the spotlight for its unique ability to interact with the human body’s endocannabinoid system, ultimately bestowing relief from pain and inflammation.

Pain Relief through Cannabis

A prominent and extensively researched medical application of cannabis revolves around pain management. The cannabinoids, with a particular emphasis on THC and CBD, present in cannabis possess the aid to engage with our body’s endocannabinoid system, offering relief from pain and diminishing inflammation. Consequently, cannabis has proven to be a viable solution for chronic pain ailments such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and neuropathic pain.

Nausea and Vomiting

Cannabis has been used for decades to combat the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, especially in cancer patients. The antiemetic properties of certain cannabinoids can provide much-needed relief to those undergoing aggressive treatments, improving their quality of life.

Addressing Neurological Disorders

Cannabis demonstrates its therapeutic promise in the realm of neurological disorders. CBD, in particular, has earned acknowledgment for its capacity to diminish seizures among epilepsy patients, culminating in the creation of Epidiolex, the inaugural FDA-endorsed cannabis-derived pharmaceutical. Research is ongoing, exploring its potential applications in managing conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

Cannabis and Inflammation Control

Inflammation underlies numerous chronic conditions, and cannabis can help regulate the immune response to reduce inflammation, offering notable benefits for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties can ease symptoms and improve overall well-being.

Cannabis for Sleep Troubles

Sleep disorders, affecting millions globally, find a potential remedy in cannabis. Certain strains can be an alternative to traditional sleep medications, promoting relaxation and improved sleep quality. However, it’s crucial to use cannabis for sleep under medical guidance, considering its potential impact on REM sleep.

Cannabis and Cancer Support

While not a cure for cancer, cannabis offers potential relief to cancer patients by easing symptoms like pain, nausea, and loss of appetite. Ongoing research indicates that cannabinoids might inhibit the growth of cancer cells and boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Encouraging Appetite

“Munchies” is the term used for the cannabis’ ability to improve appetite. This attribute can prove advantageous for individuals dealing with conditions that lead to a reduced appetite, including HIV/AIDS and eating disorders.

In conclusion, cannabis offers multifaceted therapeutic potentials, from pain management to neurological disorder treatment and appetite stimulation. Its role in healthcare continues to evolve and expand as ongoing research sheds light on its diverse applications.

In conclusion, cannabis offers multifaceted therapeutic potentials, from pain management to neurological disorder treatment and appetite stimulation. Its role in healthcare continues to evolve and expand as ongoing research sheds light on its diverse applications.

A New EO Care Survey of Over 1,000 Participants Reveals that 18 Percent of Americans Currently Use Cannabis for Health Reasons, with 65 Percent Expressing Willingness to Use it Under Clinician Supervision.

EO Care, Inc.,is a pioneer in providing employer-oriented cannabis health and wellness solutions, unveiled the outcomes of a recent survey comprising 1,027 American participants. The research focused on understanding their perspectives and usage patterns regarding cannabis. All survey respondents were employed part-time or more and resided in areas across the United States where cannabis is legally accessible for medical or recreational purposes.

The survey’s principal findings can be summarized as follows:

  • A noteworthy 18 percent of the participants reported utilizing cannabis for health-related reasons within the past year. Additionally, 19 percent of people used cannabis recreationally, while 14 percent utilized it for both purposes.
  • The three most prevalent reasons for cannabis consumption among the participants were anxiety, pain management, and sleep-related issues.
  • A significant 88 percent of those employing medical cannabis affirmed that they reduced the consumption of prescription drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both.
  • A notable 51 percent expressed their likelihood to utilize cannabis if included in their health plan.
  • A majority of 65 percent indicated that they felt  more at ease utilizing cannabis if supervised and dosed by a healthcare professional.

Sean Collins, co-founder and CEO of EO Care, highlighted the challenges faced by individuals seeking clinical guidance for medicinal cannabis. 

The lack of knowledge among most physicians and the inability of retail dispensaries to provide adequate medical advice have prompted millions of Americans to turn to cannabis for health reasons. Often, they do so without proper guidance regarding product recommendations, dosage requirements, potential drug interactions, and their individual health histories.

 Given that cannabis sales for health purposes surpass those of most prescription drugs, this situation raises significant concerns in the healthcare arena.

EO Care emerged to bridge this gap providing members access to healthcare professionals who craft personalized cannabis care plans. This included specific product recommendations and dosages based on an individual’s medical history and needs. Members are subsequently connected with local dispensaries to fulfill their orders. These clinical recommendations are rooted in data models developed in collaboration with leading clinicians and researchers. It was further validated by a physician, with ongoing feedback to fine-tune individualized care.

EO Care extends its services to members through their employers, who offer this program as an employee benefit. Most members seek relief from chronic conditions such as neuropathic pain, symptoms associated with cancer treatment. For instance, nausea, appetite loss, sleep disturbances, pain, and anxiety, and other health concerns like seizure disorders and Parkinson’s disease. 

The EO Care survey also delved into the sentiments of employees regarding their employer’s cannabis-related policies, revealing the following insights:

  • A significant 56 percent of respondents expressed their preference for employers with health plans that encompass cannabis care.
  • Meanwhile, 44 percent conveyed their willingness to reconsider applying for a job at a company that mandates testing for prior cannabis use or prohibits cannabis usage outside of the workplace.

Collins underscored the prevalence of legalized cannabis in various forms across the nation in 94 percent of Americans residing in states where it is permitted. He emphasized the potential impact of cannabis usage on employees and their health outcomes. Collins believes that by providing the proper medicinal cannabis guidance, employers can support their employees, enhance health outcomes, and lead the way in offering this crucial benefit that employees are likely to access in the future.

About EO Care

EO Care stands as the inaugural clinically guided cannabis health and wellness solution aimed at employers. This digital health service equips HR and benefits leaders with the essential tools to help employees make informed decisions in incorporating cannabis into their healthcare journey. It delivers clinical education and personalized care guidance, addressing concerns such as cannabis overuse which has become increasingly prevalent due to the absence of medical direction. 

EO Care utilizes data from prominent cannabis clinicians and researchers to provide clinician guidance and proprietary data models. This empowers employers to address unguided cannabis consumption and offers employees efficient options for managing issues related to cancer treatment, pain, opioid dependency, anxiety, and sleep management.

The company boasts a team of experts in healthcare customer experience, biotechnology, and data intelligence. 

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