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Aug 25, 2023
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Georgia’s MMJ Woes, New Hampshire’s Rec. Study, & Janet Yellen’s Mushroom Adventures

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Georgia is facing medical cannabis growing pains, a New Hampshire commission was tasked with studying recreational legalization, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen ate magic mushrooms.

Let’s dive into this week’s canna-news.

Frustration Mounts as Georgia’s Medical Cannabis Program Grapples With Delays

After years of courtroom battles, Georgia finally opened its first medical cannabis dispensaries earlier this year. Unfortunately, the excitement around the launch of the program has quickly turned to frustration as the realities of its shortcomings have become clearer.

Georgia law allows qualified medical patients to use cannabis products with low THC levels. To qualify for the program, patients must prove that they have an ailment on the state’s list of qualified conditions. After that, patients must renew their medical card every two years. Despite these straightforward guidelines, the program has nonetheless experienced its fair share of glitches and issues causing stress in patients and caretakers alike.

The biggest reason for these issues is the fact that Georgia did not properly plan for the surge of medical cannabis applications caused by the introduction of medical dispensaries. As of July, Georgia’s medical program membership has risen to around 29,494 patients. This doesn’t even include the 558 cards still awaiting approval.

While efforts have been made to improve the system, delays persist. Most recently, the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) hired additional staff and increased the frequency of card shipments to help clear the backlog.

Though they appreciate the GDPH’s efforts, caregivers and cannabis companies alike have stated that the state needs to do more. Some suggest that the state should streamline the application process to avoid confusion and mistakes on the applicant’s end that create a backlog. Others suggest that Georgia adopt remote accommodations provided by Telehealth companies like Veriheal.

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How would you fix Georgia’s medical cannabis industry issues? Let us know in the comments!

Governor Sununu Leads Charge on Recreational Legalization

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu has signed a bill establishing a commission to study the legalization of recreational cannabis. Governor Sununu, who previously opposed legalization, explained his change of heart saying, “Knowing that a majority of our residents support legalization, it is reasonable to assume change is inevitable. To ignore this reality would be shortsighted and harmful”.

The Governor’s goal is to establish a legal market with an emphasis on harm reduction over profit. He favors a state-controlled approach to cannabis sales, similar to the state’s management of liquor. Having all cannabis sales run through state-run retailers, Sununu said, would prevent increased taxes and maintain control over marketing and distribution.

Gov. Sununu’s commission is tasked with investigating key aspects of cannabis legalization. This includes; sales and marketing strategies, measures to prevent underage access, and ways to avoid over saturation of cannabis.

A report on the commission’s recommendations is expected to drop by December 1st. If successful, the commission’s findings could be developed into a bill and introduced into the legislature during the 2024 session. With Governor Sununu stating that he will not run for re-election after 2024, this could be the final opportunity for this legislation to get passed.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s Recounts Encounter With Chinese Mushrooms

Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen had a magical experience during a recent trip to Beijing. She recounted the incident during a CNN interview.

While attending a dinner, Yellen had a dish made with a mushroom known as Jian Shou Qing. The mushroom is commonly found in the Yunnan province of China, where it is cherished for its taste. Unbeknownst to Yellen at the time, however, the mushroom can also produce psychoactive effects.

Thankfully, the mushrooms were cooked for 15 minutes in boiling liquid completely eliminating their psychedelic properties. All that remained was the umami-rich flavors of the porcini like Jian Shou Qing mushrooms. Even so, Yellen reported that the rest of the day was magical

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