Trulieve opens its first medical cannabis production facility in Georgia

The new facility will be in Cook County.
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 9:17 PM EST
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ADEL, Ga. (WALB) - After a long delay, a medical cannabis facility is finally cutting the ribbon on its new facility right here in South Georgia.

The Georgia Commission for Access to Medical Cannabis awarded licenses to two corporations recently.

Trulieve is one of two corporations that is now allowed to grow medical cannabis in the state of Georgia. They say they have 124 facilities in Florida serving tons of patients, and they’re hoping for the same in Georgia.

“We made a commitment to the patients of Georgia. You know, there’s over 25,000 patients that are already registered in the state of Georgia whose been waiting years to get the product. So when we came in, as soon as we got that award, we immediately began work,” Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve, said.

Kim Rivers is the CEO of Trulieve.
Kim Rivers is the CEO of Trulieve.(Source: WALB)

Many people here say this is a huge milestone for the state.

“Let’s go back several years you know. Your law enforcement, with all due respect, have always been taught let’s combat drug use. Well, we had to be re-educated to agree that this is a medical need,” Buddy Duke, mayor of Adel, said.

Adel Mayor Buddy Duke says he is honored to have Trulieve in his city.
Adel Mayor Buddy Duke says he is honored to have Trulieve in his city.(Source: WALB)

Trulieve CEO says securing their Georgia Cannabis Production License was one of their primary goals going into 2021.

“We will absolutely and are committed to investing and creating not just, and this is important, not just jobs. But good jobs. Well-paying competitive jobs, in a burgeoning new industry,” Rivers said.

Georgia’s 26th jurisdiction was the first in the state to legalize medical marijuana back in 2015. Today is the first-day Trulieve opens its first production facility in Georgia.

Rivers says unfortunately it’s not unusual for licensing processes to have some litigation around them, but she does hope it doesn’t continue.

“Obviously we know that the process here in Georgia is not unlike honestly a lot of other states. A long process to get to this point once we were able to hit the green light. The commissions have really done a great job and I’m hoping on the dispensing we’ll be able to move quickly on that as well,” Rivers said.

Georgia’s 2019 Hope Act gave the Commission access to search for a corporation to launch a medical cannabis program in the state.

“I do think bringing this production facility to Georgia is a step in the right direction. So I think the Trulieve Adel Production Facility will bring several jobs to the area and will have a significant impact on the overall economic development,” Lisa Pinkney, president of Trulieve Georgia, said.

Lisa Pinkney is the president of Trulieve Georgia.
Lisa Pinkney is the president of Trulieve Georgia.(Source: WALB)

Rivers says although there was a long delay in getting their cannabis production license, they work for their patients. So expanding here was natural for them and something they continued to push for.

“It can really be a win-win for both the company and the community. And really Cook County had those attributes. We really pride our company on creating career opportunities for folks. Not just again, a job that’s here today and gone tomorrow,” Rivers, said.

Mayor Duke says this facility will bring a good economic impact to the Adel and the Cook County area.

“By all means, yes it will, and to the state, it will as well. We understand that there’s going to be 60-80 jobs that are going to be presented here. And viewing the faculty’s down in Gaston County, Florida, you know, these are going to be fairly paying jobs,” Duke said.

Trulieve says COVID-19 doubled their number of patients. So they’re hoping to have 10 facilities opened in Georgia by July 2023.