Technically, the state of Georgia legalized the use of cannabis back in 1978. But it took almost 25 more years to officially pass the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (MCPP). Since the MCPPâs approval, the state has considerably upgraded its medical cannabis-related policies which also includes allowing a minor to apply for a medical marijuana card, if they are accompanied by a caregiver.
Eligibility requirements for a medical marijuana card in Georgia
The state of Georgia follows the standard eligibility criteria set to determine whether a patient can get access to medical marijuana or not. As per the criteria, the patient must be a resident of Georgia and must have a valid medical marijuana recommendation from a certified medical doctor. A patient who is not yet 18 can also apply for a medical marijuana card with the help of a designated caregiver.
Qualifying medical conditions
As per the state law, a patient must be diagnosed with one of the following qualifying medical conditions in order to be marked eligible for a Georgia medical marijuana card,
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Autism spectrum disorder, when the patient is 18 years of age or older, or when the patient is under 18 years of age and diagnosed with severe autism.
- Crohnâs disease
- Epidermolysis bullosa
- Intractable pain
- Mitochondrial disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from direct exposure to or witnessing trauma for a patient who is at least 18 years of age.
- Seizure disorders related to the diagnosis of epilepsy or trauma-related head injuries.
- Sickle cell disease
- Tourette’s syndrome
- The patient is in a hospice program, either as an inpatient or outpatient.
What exactly is a caregiver?
As per state law, a patient who is not yet 18 must be accompanied by a designated caregiver. Only one of the parents or legal guardians of the patient can act as the designated caregiver. Plus, the caregiver needs to provide their relevant ID details to the evaluating physician so they can legally aid the qualifying patients with their cannabis purchase.
Medical Marijuana Laws for minors in Georgia
The medical marijuana laws are similar for both qualifying adult and minor patients within the state. Some of the key points of these laws include,
- Medical cannabis within the state is restricted to low-THC products containing not more than 5% THC.
- Recreational cannabis is not legal in the state.
- Even medical marijuana card holders canât grow/cultivate their own cannabis.
The state of Georgia is looking forward to upgrading its medical cannabis laws so the âlow-THCâ policy can finally be abandoned. With the current approach of the state on the matter, we do hope that this will be happening sometime in the near future.