It could just be a matter of weeks before patients who need medical cannabis oil can legally get it in Georgia.
Channel 2′s Richard Elliot learned Friday that the medical cannabis oil commission gave its approval to the lab that will test the product.
That lab will begin testing the medical cannabis oil grown here in Georgia within the week.
That means, if the oil passes inspection, the two companies that produce it will be able to distribute it very soon.
Elliot caught up with medical cannabis oil commission executive director Andrew Turnage while he was still inside SJ Labs and Analytics, just minutes after he finished its inspection.
“Certainly, happy to report that they are now the commission’s first registered testing laboratory in Georgia,” Turnage said.
That means SJ Labs can now begin testing medical cannabis oil grown and produced in Georgia by two licensed companies.
That means the more than tens of thousands of registered patients eligible for the oil are just weeks away from obtaining it legally.
Until now, it’s been legal to possess it, but illegal to bring into Georgia from outside the state.
“I’m really excited. This has been really three years in the making. A lot of hard work has gone into this,” said Sarah Nicholls, owner of SJ Labs and Analytics
Channel 2 Action News was with Nicholls last month as she testified before a state Senate committee about her testing facility.
Those two medical cannabis oil companies have licenses to grow and produce the oil, but they can’t distribute until they pass Nicholls’ facility.
“We expect to be testing within the next week or two, and hopefully, the Georgia patients can have some relief soon,” Nicholls said.
Without giving much away, Turnage signaled that medical cannabis oil help for patients is not far away.
“It is very exciting to be here and be a part of registering the first laboratory. It sends a clear signal to patients that this is moving forward, and access is coming very soon,” Turnage said.
Once those companies pass testing, they’ll be eligible for distribution. Last month, the commission said that might happen by the beginning of May, or close to it.