DEA Warns Georgia Pharmacies Against Selling Medical Cannabis

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Many pharmacies in Georgia had applied to become approved to sell medical cannabis.

In October 2023, independent pharmacies in Georgia were poised to become the first in the country to sell low-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) medical cannabis oil (1). Patients with a physician’s approval to treat certain conditions would have been able to purchase their medication at a pharmacy approved by the Georgia Board of Pharmacy, and the cannabis products could contain no more than 5% THC (1).

However, earlier this month pharmacies began receiving letters from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) informing them that this remains against federal law (2). “All DEA-registrants, including DEA-registered pharmacies, are required to abide by all relevant federal laws and regulations,” stated the letter, in part (2). “A DEA-registered pharmacy may only dispense controlled substances in Schedules II-IV of the Controlled Substances Act. Neither marijuana nor THC can lawfully be possessed, handled, or dispensed by any DEA-registered pharmacy. Under federal law, products derived from the cannabis plant with delta-9-THC content above 0.3% are considered marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance.” The letter is signed by Matthew J. Strait, Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Diversion Control Division (2).


“We always felt, we as pharmacists, that this is a drug and it should be kept in pharmacy,” stated Ira Katz, a pharmacist in Atlanta (3). “It should be regulated by pharmacy, so we are very disappointed that the DEA is choosing to keep it out of pharmacy, where it really belongs.” Katz reportedly had applied for a license to sell medical cannabis at his pharmacy, but had recently received a letter from the DEA (3).

In 2019, Georgia governor Brian Kemp signed House Bill 324, which, among other things, allowed pharmacies to tell low-THC medical cannabis oil, as long as the pharmacy was granted a license from the State Pharmacy Board (4).

Medical cannabis patients are still able to obtain cannabis products from dispensaries (1).

Read our coverage of pharmacies in Georgia becoming approved to carry medical cannabis products.


  1. AP News. Georgia will be first state with medical marijuana in Pharmacies (accessed Dec 12, 2023).
  2. Selling medical marijuana in GA could be breaking federal law - (accessed Dec 12, 2023).
  3. Murphy, A. DEA stops sale of Medical Cannabis Oil at Georgia pharmacies (accessed Dec 12, 2023).
  4. Niesse, M. Georgia gov. Brian Kemp signs bill for medical marijuana sales (accessed Dec 12, 2023).