Southside medical marijuana facility to be fully operational later this year

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Piece by piece, the old Central State Hospital campus is making its comeback.

The newest puzzle piece is a new 50,000-square foot facility that will grow and manufacture medical marijuana for Georgians with marijuana medical exemptions. Treevana Wellness ultimately plans to staff its Milledgeville facility with roughly 140 employees, according to Walter Reynolds, executive director of the Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority. 

The company must move relatively quickly here in Milledgeville. Based on the stipulations of its license and contract with the state of Georgia, Treevana will be required to become operational by the fourth quarter of 2022, at the latest. Treevana will set up shop in the old electrical maintenance facility/old ice plant at 205 Maintenance Road, located closer to the Vinson Highway side of the CSH campus, roughly halfway between the Georgia War Veterans Home and the Bostick Nursing Center. 

Treevana was one of six different companies to secure a Class 2 production license in the state of Georgia following the passes 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.

Reynolds emphasized that the new facility "will be an extremely secure facility," with "different layers of access to gain entry into the different (marijuana) growing pods." All growing will be conducted indoors, Reynolds added. Reynolds also said that "this will be lower-grade THC and not the kind of stuff that people find on the streets."

So, why Central State? Reynolds said that the company was attracted to Milledgeville's central geographical location in Georgia, as well as the federal tax credits.

"We are a Federal Opportunity Zone. Basically, any capital gains made are shielded from taxes for the period of time covered," he said. 

Also, Treevana was able to purchase the entire property for $60,000, added Reynolds.

"We aren't giving property away out here, but it's the next best thing, and companies are beginning to notice," Reynolds said. 

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