PRESS CONTACT: Dr. Marion McNabb, Chief Research Officer, Georgia Atlas Mobile: 404-985-8149, Email: email@example.com
CAMILLA, Georgia – March 9, 2021 – Georgia Atlas, a medical cannabis company, announced today the launch of a Georgia Medical Patients and Veterans Low-THC Oil Research Study collecting information related to medical conditions, treatments, and interest in Low-THC Oil in Georgia. Georgia Atlas applied for a license to cultivate and manufacture Low-THC Oil in Georgia in late January 2021. Six licenses are expected to be awarded in spring or early summer of 2021.
Low-THC oil is a medication that will soon be widely available in the state. It is a form of medical cannabis oil that contains up to five percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and is used to help treat a variety of health conditions. To date, there are more than 14,000 Low-THC oil patients in the State registry, yet there are over 250,000 medical patients in Georgia who potentially qualify for the medicine. U.S. Military Veterans have expressed relief from medical cannabis for health conditions unique to them. There are more than 600,000 veterans in Georgia who could potentially benefit. The Georgia Medical Patients and Veterans Low-THC Oil Research Study launched today will gather information that can help educate and inform veterans, local medical patients, and healthcare providers in Georgia. Dr. James Smith and Dr. Marion McNabb are the lead study investigators. Data collection will begin on April 15, 2021 and final research results will be available August, 2021. Dr. Smith, currently the Medical Director of Emergency Medicine at the Northside Gwinnett Medical Center, is the Chief Medical Officer of Georgia Atlas. If awarded a license, Dr. Smith will lead a Medical Board of Georgia physicians who are at the forefront of the low-THC movement in the state. The Georgia Atlas Medical Board includes Dr. Lisa Perry-Gilkes, the current President of the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG), Dr. Sarah Vinson, founder of the Lorio Psych Group who also sits on the faculty of two schools of medicine in Georgia, and Dr. Andrew Reisman, former President of MAG. The medical board will oversee the research study launched today.
“With the introduction of low-THC oil as a medication here in Georgia, it’s important to understand how much our veterans and medical patients know about it and how it might impact their lives. This research study will give us a baseline understanding to further access to low-THC oil for veterans and medical patients in Georgia.” – Dr. James Smith, Chief Medical Officer, Georgia Atlas.
Dr. Smith was instrumental in passing HB 324, Georgia’s Hope Act, and has personally experienced the benefits of medical cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) by witnessing his daughter’s improved quality of life and reduced epilepsy symptoms from its use. Dr. Smith is joined by Chris McElvany, who has 25 years of experience in large-scale agriculture and crop science and more than 20 years of cannabis research experience. Mr. McElvany previously served as the President of Organa Labs, the longest running supercritical fluids cannabis extraction facility in the United States. The team also includes Dr. Marion McNabb, who is the President of the non-profit Cannabis Center of Excellence, Inc, and has conducted several cannabis studies, including the 2019 national veterans’ health and medical cannabis study and the COVID-19 and cannabis study. Further, company leadership includes Stanley Atkins, II, the “CanniMedic” and Georgia Chapter Director of Minorities for Medical Marijuana (M4MM). Georgia Atlas has a medical advisory panel of 15 Georgian physicians with expertise on each of the qualifying conditions for low-THC oil, a seven-member scientific panel, and a nine-member patient advocacy panel that advises the company’s research efforts.
Visit www.georgiaatlas.com to follow research updates.
ABOUT GEORGIA ATLAS
Georgia Atlas is a medical cannabis company that has applied for a Low-THC oil production license in Georgia. If awarded a license, Georgia Atlas will operate in Camilla, Georgia. Georgia Atlas is led by Dr. James Smith, who was instrumental in passing HB 324, Georgia’s Hope Act. Dr. Smith leads over 30 Physicians, Scientists, Patient Advocates, Cannabis Experts, and Researchers at Georgia Atlas who, if licensed, will lead the company’s efforts in cultivation and production of low-THC oil in Camilla, Georgia. Georgia Atlas is owned by more than 57 percent minorities and women, and 84 percent are natives of Georgia. To learn more about Georgia Atlas and follow low-THC oil research program updates, please visit: www.georgiaatlas.com.
GEORGIA ATLAS LEADERSHIP
James S. Smith, MD | Chief Medical Officer, Georgia Atlas
Dr. James S. Smith is a Georgia native and Medical Director of Emergency Medicine at Northside Gwinnett Medical Center. Dr. Smith completed his residency program and clinical fellowship at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Smith brings both personal experience and a vast medical background to the medical cannabis and Low-THC Oil movement in Georgia. In 2014, Dr. Smith founded and chaired the not-for-profit, Oil for Epilepsy, driven by his daughter’s diagnosis of severe Intractable Seizure Disorder, and her subsequent successes under a regular dose of Cannabinoid Oil. His perpetual efforts to establish a Medical Cannabis program in Georgia were instrumental in not only seeing the law passed, but expanding the State’s list of qualified conditions to 14. He currently serves as the President of the Georgia College of Emergency Medicine (GCEP), the Chairman of the Georgia Medical Political Action Committee (GAMPAC), and the Second Vice President of the Medical Association of Georgia, is on the Governors COVID-19 task force, and is committed to using his role as a leader in the medical community to advocate for political change that directly benefits patients in Georgia.
Dr. Marion McNabb | Chief Research Officer, Georgia Atlas
A Georgia native, Dr. Marion McNabb is a Public Health Doctor with over 20 years of global and domestic public health experience. She has specialized expertise in medical cannabis, social & restorative justice, digital health, HIV/AIDS, epidemiology, sexual reproductive health & rights (SRHR), community-based health, and community-based research interventions. Dr. McNabb is the current President of Cannabis Center of Excellence, INC – a 501c3 non-profit cannabis research, education, and social justice organization www.cannacenterofexcellence.org. Dr. McNabb currently leads research studies related to medical cannabis and works with universities and community colleges to design and implement cannabis education programs. In 2019, Dr. McNabb led a veterans health and medical cannabis research study with UMass Dartmouth. The findings of this study were published in the Inaugural Edition of Cannabis Patient Care Magazine in November 2020. As of Spring 2021, Dr. McNabb is the Principal Investigator of the COVID-19 and medical cannabis research study, led together with UMass Dartmouth. Dr. McNabb is the former CEO and co-founder of Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN). Since Dec 2016, C3RN conducted three medical cannabis research studies with UMass Dartmouth, and held over 20 in-person cannabis education events in Massachusetts with community, research, clinical, and political experts. C3RN was an official contracted social equity training vendor from 2019-2020 with the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s First in the Nation State-Wide Social Equity Program. C3RN also won the first ever ancillary cannabis business startup competition – hosted by the Boston University Questrom School of Business and Green Lion Partners, in 2017. C3RN pitched and won the first-ever competition proposing the idea to create a virtual Cannabis Center of Excellence. Four years later, we thought it was a good idea, and with much support, we are now, gratefully, implementing the Cannabis Center of Excellence www.cannacenterofexcellence.org
Prior to co-founding C3RN, Dr. McNabb spent 15 years leading global public health and digital health projects in seven countries in Africa and Haiti. As a Senior Digital Health Consultant, Dr. McNabb worked with UNICEF Headquarters in New York, NY to help design UNICEF’s Approach to Digital Health 2016-2030, for over 130 countries. The UNICEF Approach to Digital Health now serves as an Annex to the UNICEF 2016-2030 Global Health Strategy to support healthy and digitally-engaged living for young people around the world. Dr. McNabb also consulted with HealthEnabled, a strategic international digital health firm that advises governments and international bodies – Dr. McNabb served as Project Lead on the development of a Global Digital Health Index (GDHI) and Maturity Model. The GDHI is now published and used by several countries. Dr. McNabb, from 2014-2017, led the introduction and integration of digital health as a new technical area for Pathfinder International – a global public health organization that works on HIV/AIDS and promotes SRHR programs worldwide. She helped Pathfinder expand its digital health grant and program portfolio from $250K to over $3 million in three years. Dr. McNabb technically led the design and implementation of 12 digital health worker and client facing projects in seven countries. Dr. McNabb has eight years of in-country work experience in Ethiopia managing over $12 million dollars a year in U.S. Government PEPFAR funding for HIV/AIDS, TB, STI, and other Public Health priorities (2002-2010).
“I definitely look forward to applying my experience in my current leadership role at Georgia Atlas implementing cutting-edge, citizen-science focused, and rigorously designed clinical research studies that aim to engage, empower, work together to advance medical cannabis together with medical patients, U.S. military veterans, and healthcare providers in Georgia as the Chief Research Officer at Georgia Atlas. I am proud to bring my experience home to Georgia, and I am excited to implement medical cannabis treatments, here at home with local experts and where I grew up, in Atlanta, Georgia.” – Dr. Marion McNabb, Chief Medical Officer, Georgia Atlas.
Chris McElvany | Chief Production Officer, Georgia Atlas
Chris McElvany is a research, agricultural, and patent-holding cannabis entrepreneur recognized for creating and commercializing several of the best-selling cannabis strains globally. Chris McElvany offers more than 20 years of experience in botanical and extraction sciences, having co-founded several best-selling cannabis brands, including Bakked. He is an expert from seed-to-sale and brings unparalleled experience in the realm of extraction, refining, and flavor sciences. A dedicated innovator with cannabis experience in 13 states, Mr. McElvaneybrings industry leading experience, having developed more than 17 labs based on market-leading, self-developed standard operating procedures. Fully committed to consumer safety and quality, his groundbreaking work pioneered innovative processes including development of more than 120 products. His extensive experience spans numerous key areas including management, development, research, consumer advocacy, medical products and process improvement. In addition, his diverse skill set offers unparalleled levels of insight into the complexities of the cannabis industry including product development, research, and medical controls. Based on experience gained through the development of multiple cannabis related patents and the creation of award-winning products, he leverages 25 years of experience in large-scale agriculture and crop science, as well as 20 years of cannabis research experience. At Organa Brands he served as Chief Technology Officer for their Innovation Lab and as President for Manufacturing Operations. Mr. McElvany’s cannabis oil production pioneering lab was the first to use hydrocarbon during propane extractions and to implement industry leading manufacturing practices to a loosely regulated area. These innovative, state-of-the-art practices are still used globally. Mr. McElvany also co-founded SLANG Worldwide where he served as Executive Vice President of Innovation. Prior to SLANG’s acquisition and merger, McElvany’s responsibilities included leading research and development across the SLANG portfolio, creating innovative products and cutting-edge applications for the cannabis plant. Today, Mr. McElvany’s company, SMRTR, leverages extensive supply-chain relationships and more than a decade of R&D process improvement to provide formulation sciences, product delivery methods, and consulting for emerging and developed brands.
Sarah Vinson, MD | Chief Inclusion Officer, Medical Advisory Board, Georgia Atlas
Dr. Sarah Vinson is a Triple Board-Certified physician who specializes in adult, child and adolescent, and
forensic psychiatry. As a leader in the forensic psychiatry field, she is the founder of the Lorio Psych Group, an Atlanta-based mental health practice providing expert care and consultation. Dr. Vinson’s psychiatric experience working with people with drug-related criminal histories gives her a unique understanding of the impact of cannabis legalization on the community, including children and their families. Dr. Sarah Vinson is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at two schools of medicine in Georgia. Her interest in the cannabis movement in Georgia lies in helping to strike a balance between protecting those at risk in the community and decriminalization. Dr. Vinson’s expertise and perspective will play a pivotal role on the Georgia Atlas Medical Advisory Board ensuring medical cannabis policies positively impact Georgia communities while patients receive the healthcare they need.
Lisa Perry-Gilkes, MD, FACS | Medical Advisory Board, Georgia Atlas
Recently appointed President of the Medical Association of Georgia, Dr. Lisa Perry-Gilkes has been a practicing physician in Georgia for over 20 years to lead the largest physician’s advocacy organization in the state. She is a board-certified ENT-otolaryngologist and the Chief Medical Officer at the Ear, Nose & Throat Institute where she treats patients suffering from sleep disorders, stress, anxiety disorders as well as other issues closely correlated to sleep disorders. Attracted by its wide range of patients and the integration of medical and surgical treatments, Dr. Perry-Gilkes pursued her career as an ENT specialist after earning her medical degree from Howard University and completing her residency at King Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles. She advises patients on several lifestyle and behavioral remedies to address anxiety-related sleep disorders in addition to taking a clinical approach. She views medical cannabis as a viable and effective treatment for stress-related and mental health symptoms that exacerbate or cause sleep disorders and a helpful alternative to anti-anxiety medications that can cause nightmares. As current MAG President, Dr. Perry-Gilkes is focused on a few key issues – including COVID-19, social justice and health equity, health insurance, Medicaid pay, physician wellness and resilience, patient safety, and scope of practice. Her medical experience coupled with her awareness of current issues affecting the medical community in Georgia offer a unique perspective to Georgia Atlas. In addition to MAG, Dr. Perry-Gilkes is a member of the Georgia State Medical Association, the Medical Association of Atlanta, the Atlanta Medical Association, and the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery – chairing its diversity committee. As a member of the Georgia Atlas Medical Advisory Board, she looks forward to helping Georgia Atlas pave the way for safe and effective prescription of medicinal cannabis treatments for patients in Georgia.
Andrew Reisman, MD | Medical Advisory Board, Georgia Atlas
Andrew Reisman, MD, is a board-certified family physician with the Longstreet Clinic, where he has delivered quality care to patients in Georgia for over 20 years. As former President of the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG), Dr. Reisman has been a leader in the Georgia medical community, advocating for patient rights, addressing issues affecting physicians in every practice setting, and helping to improve patient and physician experience in Georgia. Most recently, as part of Governor Kemp’s Task Force on Covid-19, Dr. Reisman helped develop consensus among medical leaders in Georgia to advise the Governor on the Covid-19 global pandemic and provide recommendations. He was appointed by Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan to serve on the Senate Task Force on Tort Reform, and he currently serves on the Georgia Composite Medical Board, responsible for approving Georgia Medical Licenses and Laser Practitioner Licenses, creating regulations for medical practice in Georgia and ensuring compliance with the medical board. His active leadership in the medical community and his medical compliance experience makes Dr. Reisman uniquely qualified to help Georgia Atlas produce a high-quality and effective pharmaceutical grade low-THC oil that is safe for patients. Throughout his nearly 30 years as a family physician, Dr. Reisman has worked directly with patients who have a history of chronic conditions, from headaches and Crohn’s disease to seizures; conditions that medical cannabis may help treat. Dr. Reisman views his role with Georgia Atlas as key to helping patients get access to safe treatments. In addition, Dr. Reisman is a member of the Hall County Medical Society, the American Medical Association, and the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians. He earned his medical degree at the University of Miami and completed his residency at the University of Maryland.
Stanley Atkins, II | The CanniMedic | CEO, The Stanley Group | Georgia Chapter Director, Minorities for Medical Marijuana (M4MM) | Senior Research and Education Advisor, Georgia Atlas
Stanley Atkins II was born and raised in the city of Griffin, Georgia and is a graduate of Griffin High School. Stanley is a United States Navy Veteran who proudly served on 2 deployments into the Persian Gulf, participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. After his military service Stanley successfully went on to become a Firefighter with Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services. While working as a first responder Stanley became a decorated Fire Medic, receiving multiple awards and commendations at the local, state, and national levels. During his career, he worked as a Paramedic for such renowned facilities as Emory University Hospital, Atlanta Metro Ambulance as well as Event EMS. Unfortunately, his EMS career was cut short due to physical illness and he was forced to retire prematurely. While battling a long term illness, he was able to transition his knowledge basis in healthcare into public health information and advocacy. Stanley has assisted multiple non- profit organizations in their mission to create change within their communities, coming to be known as “The CanniMedic”. In 2018 Stanley founded The Good Medic LLC, which is an allied health care platform that has become a pillar in Georgia public health. The Good Medic LLC, was created to be the catalyst for innovative approaches to public health, safety and community services. With a special focus on public health, Stanley has assisted with the creation and execution of such pilot programs as “The Humans Care Program”, with the Safe America Foundation. The CanniMedic was created to bridge the gap between traditional healthcare practices, and alternative wellness therapies. Stanley has positioned himself as a formidable figure in local and state level politics and a representative for the veteran community. Stanley has successfully assisted with the Cannabis decriminalization ordinances of the City of Atlanta, the city of Macon, as well as the City of South Fulton, Georgia. Stanley has assisted in several public health programs in the state of Georgia. Notable public speaking engagements are appearances at the Georgia State Capitol, Atlanta City Hall, City of South Fulton, as well as the City of Griffin, Georgia. Stanley has made marquee media appearances on national outlets such as Vice, The Boston Freedom Rally, The Young Turks, High Rollerz BJJ, and Pluto TV. Stanley is an expert panelist, with a key appearance at Atlanta Power Con 2018 as well as the 2019 Southeastern Hemp and Medical Cannabis conference and MJ Bizcon Las Vegas. In January 2019, Stanley was appointed as the Georgia Chapter President of Minorities for Medical Marijuana. During the 2019 Georgia legislative session, Stanley worked hands-on with legislators, to ensure Minority inclusion within the proposed Georgia Medical Cannabis program, as well as the Georgia industrial hemp program. In 2020 Stanley founded The Stanley Group, a consulting company which focuses on connecting businesses with resources needed within the cannabis industry. Stanley continues to lead the way in progressive and innovative approaches to alternative wellness, as well as becoming a staple in the Cannabis industry.