The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is warning Georgia not to move forward with its plan to become the first state to allow pharmacies to distribute medical marijuana.
DEA officials told pharmacies that dispensing medical marijuana would violate federal law. The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission, which oversees the state’s medical marijuana industry, said it cannot override the federal ban despite state law allowing pharmacies to sell the products.
The Georgia Board of Pharmacy began accepting applications in October for pharmacies to dispense marijuana products. Licenses have already been issued to 23 independent pharmacies in the Peach State.
The state wants pharmacists to be allowed to continue providing consultations for medical cannabis products as they do with other medication, The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission’s executive director Andrew Turnage told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The DEA said in a memo sent to pharmacies that none of them can lawfully possess, handle or dispense marijuana or related products containing more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive chemical known as THC that gives people a high.
The DEA memo was published online by the group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which opposes marijuana legalization.