Gloved hands holding small marujuana seedling with more marijuana plants in background

The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission took a step toward approving cannabis cultivation licenses on Wednesday evening, but stopped short of announcing winners.

 After nearly two hours of closed executive session, the commission chair addressed members of the public who had tuned in to the virtual meeting to say they would not award licenses yet, while hinting at tension over the pace of the application approval process.

“Please do not blow up the phone of staff or anybody else, or commissioners,” said Commission Chairman Dr. Christopher Edwards. “Let them go home to their families.”

While the commission did not announce licensees, it did vote to finalize the scores given to the applications reviewed during the closed executive session. Those scores will be used to award licenses. 

Joshua Littrell, CEO of Veterans for Cannabis, said he is hopeful that with the scoring finished, the commission can issue the licenses very soon. 

“We are so very close, but still so far away,” Littrell said. “At this time, they know the winners, so what are we waiting on? No one is going to withdraw their application. These businesses didn’t tie up millions of dollars to then just back out at the last minute.”

Previously, the commission projected in their annual report that they would award licenses by the end of the 2021 fiscal year on June 30. Patients and applicants have grown frustrated by the wait.

Edwards, who is unpaid as chair, said the commission will publish “intent to award information” at the next meeting, but did not indicate when that will be. 

The commission’s next step is to contact applicants “to find out interest or extensions or responses or withdrawals, as necessary,” Edwards said. 

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