The medical cannabis project planned for Tattnall County is now in its construction phase, with the letter of intent to award received from the State of Georgia.
Once the license to proceed is received, operations will begin. Botanical Sciences, LLC, with its Glennville site, was awarded one of two 100,000 square-foot facilities to grow and manufacture medical cannabis in the State of Georgia, in an announcement that was initially make on Saturday, July 24, 2021. The location on Cecil Anderson Road covers 61 acres, with 14 acres inside the secured/fenced facility, and includes several other structures in the cannabis growing, manufacturing, and distribution process.
Chase Bradshaw, who is an expert cannabis cultivator and serves as the Chief of Operations of the Glennville facility, spoke to Glennville Rotarians on Wednesday, February 9, 2022, on the progress made to date on the structures and the scope of services that the facilities will provide. Bradshaw has extensive expertise in the cultivation of cannabis, having owned his own operation in Denver, Colorado, for over ten years. He and his wife, Trish, moved to Glennville from Denver.
"Our goal is to establish and operate this project in the correct, professional way that is required by the State of Georgia, with all compliances fully adhered to. Many Georgians are eager for this medical marijuana, which, to them, is a wonder drug to treat seizures in children and those suffering from terminal cancers and Parkinson's disease, just to mention a few of the conditions that can be helped with this medical marijuana," explained Bradshaw.
"Our facility will be vertically integrated, with a seed to sale philosophy, which includes cultivating, manufacturing, packaging, and distribution. An in-house lab will also be on the site. The entire process will involve up to 200 employees when we are at 100 percent production, and we have several buildings on the site. Our structures are extremely secure and with no windows," he said.
He explained that 140 formulations of the medical cannabis products have already been created and engineered with a variety of ingredients, and also gave a descriptive breakdown on the difference between THC and CBD plants. Bradshaw said that the staff will make sure that all the ingredients are in the proper dosage and usage. Whereas his facility in Colorado produced 12,000 pounds of cannabis, this Glennville plant will produce 60,000 to 80,000 pounds annually.
"This is a financial impact of 100 million to 200 million dollars a year, and our facility in Glennville will be growing, manufacturing, and distributing medical marijuana, which can have no more than five percent THC," he said, with THC the compound that gives marijuana users a high.
"We are prepared for future growth, which is designed for tomorrow so that we are a step ahead. We have 18 employees on the payroll now, and are hiring local contractors and subcontractors for the construction needed as much as possible," said Bradshaw.
"Since July of 2021, when the announcements were made for the medical cannabis plants in Georgia, the number of eligible patients have doubled from 10,000 to 20,000, and once the plant begins operation, we expect to see tremendous further increases," he said. A doctor can prescribe medical cannabis for a patient, which can then be filled at an approved pharmacy.
"From start to finish, the growing process takes 110 days from the seeding stage to the completed manufacture of the medical cannabis. Our facility will be balanced at all times for the growing conditions, as far as the ideal temperature and humidity and controlled and monitored by software engineering. Every aspect possible will be controlled, and strict regulations from the state will be in place," said Bradshaw.
A study conducted on 10,000 patients on opioids determined that a 50 percent decrease in opioid use could be achieved by using the medical cannabis, which can be taken through a transdermal patch, topically, or orally.
The transaction of the property purchase by Dr. Robin Fowler, former chairman and current member of Botanical Sciences, LLC, was through the Tattnall County Industrial Development Authority (TCIDA). This company includes several medical professionals, a former FBI agent, a former DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agent, arborists/horticulturists, an epidemiologist, biochemists, and a financial planner.