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Georgia’s Ankit Patel is the first US pharmacist to sell medical cannabis from a counter

NRI PULSE STAFF REPORT

Cover photo courtesy: Ankit Patel’s LinkedIn page.

Atlanta, GA, March 26, 2024: An Indian American pharmacist from Georgia is at the center of a groundbreaking move set to revolutionize access to medical cannabis in the United States.

Dr. Ankit Patel of Warner Robbins made history in October 2023 as the first pharmacist legally authorized to sell medical cannabis from a pharmacy counter. This milestone marks a significant step forward in the integration of medical cannabis into mainstream healthcare, reports CNN.

Patel’s Robins Pharmacy, along with Omega Pharmacy and the Allen Pharmacy Group, located in the same region, have been granted the inaugural state license to dispense low-THC medical cannabis. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant known for inducing a “high.” However, in medical applications, THC is utilized to alleviate symptoms such as pain, nausea, insomnia, and other medical conditions. The range of products available includes THC oil, tinctures, topicals, capsules, and lozenges.

Situated in Warner Robins, approximately a 90-minute drive from Atlanta, Robins Pharmacy’s groundbreaking initiative brings medicinal cannabis accessibility to an unexpected region in the country, says CNN. While medical cannabis has been legally available in certain parts of the US for decades, Georgia stands out as the only state permitting pharmacies to sell medical cannabis. The recent legislative change has been met with enthusiasm from independent pharmacies statewide, signaling a significant shift in attitudes towards medicinal cannabis.

The Georgia General Assembly greenlit the distribution of low-dose THC oil back in 2019. However, it has taken years for the state to establish the necessary regulatory framework to facilitate sales. Last month, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp endorsed the Georgia Board of Pharmacy rules, effectively paving the way for pharmacies to commence THC sales.

“I’ve been following the laws in Georgia about passing it, and I’ve been excited about this possibility for about four years now,” Patel told CNN in an October 2023 interview. “When they finally said independent pharmacies will be able to carry it, I filled out the license form immediately. I knew I had to get this.”

The introduction of medical cannabis sales through pharmacies is anticipated to prompt further participation from additional pharmacies, according to the GA Access to Medical Cannabis Commission.

As Ankit Patel took his place at the forefront of this transformative movement, he cemented his legacy as a pioneer in the pharmaceutical landscape.

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