A few good marijuana growers needed by new company in Milledgeville


Times certainly change.

Imagine 20 years ago, let alone 50 years ago, the Milledgeville City Council entertaining discussions about marijuana "grow rooms" and marijuana "harvests." That's exactly what happened on Tuesday, however, as a representative from the Treevana Wellness/Sanctuary Cannabis group updated council members about the new marijuana growing facility here in Milledgeville. 

The plan is to open in several months and produce the first "harvest" in August. Treevana/Sanctuary ultimately hopes to hire roughly five dozen employees. The address is 3015 Heritage Place, which is across from Marco's Pizza and next to the skating rink.

The company also hopes to eventually open a retail "dispensary" here in Milledgeville, which isn't a new concept in Georgia. Since the state first approved licenses last spring, dispensaries have opened up in or near major metro areas: Atlanta, Marietta, Newnan, Stockbridge, Macon, Evans and Savannah, according to an article in the Georgia Recorder.

Pictured is the storefront of a Sanctuary Cannabis dispensary in Florida.

Added the Georgia Recorder article: "In addition, Georgia is set to be the first state to allow patients to buy low-THC products at pharmacies. Whether from a dispensary or a pharmacy, patients must be approved by a doctor to get the products. Right now there are just over 13,400 patients on the list. Intractable pain and post-traumatic stress patients make up more than 70% of those on the list, according to the state Department of Public Health, with cancer, peripheral neuropathy, and multiple sclerosis the next most common diagnoses."

The project is several years in the making, and the company initially planned to open in the old Central State Hospital ice shop/maintenance facility before calling an audible and deciding to grow weed on the northside instead. Treevana previously was one of six different companies to secure a Class 2 production license in the state of Georgia following the passage of Georgia's Hope Act by the General Assembly in 2019. According to the GA Access to Medical Cannabis Commission's website:

On April 2, 2019, the Georgia General Assembly passed House Bill 324 titled "Georgia's Hope Act," which authorizes the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission to oversee the regulated licensing of limited, in-state cultivation, production, manufacturing, and sale of low-THC oil as well asdispensing to registered patients on the state's Low-THC Oil Registry. Governor Kemp signed the bill into law on April 17, 2019. Georgia's Hope Act (Official Code of Georgia Annotated §16-12) took effect July 1, 2019. The Commission is administratively attached (O.C. G. A. § 16-12-202, § 50-4-3) to the Office of the Georgia Secretary of State.

Jim Frazier, an executive with Treevana/Sanctuary, spent most of his time at the Tuesday City Council meeting discussing safety and security. He said that the company "biotracks" all of its weed.

"We literally track everything from the time the seed goes into the dirt," he said.

Frazier added that the facility will have "onsite 24/7 security," as well as "security cameras both inside and outside along with 24/7 perimeter surveillance" that must be stored for 45 days, according to state law.

Also, according to the presentation, the company will "ensure that all employees are following security measures, state regulations and ensuring that only authorized personnel are allowed inside the secured operation area."

The City Council voted on Tuesday to send Treevana/Sanctuary's plans to the Planning & Zoning Committee for preliminary approval. 

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