The Georgia First Amendment Foundation is disappointed in the Supreme Court of Georgia’s decision not to review lower court rulings that erode citizens’ rights to access judicial records. On Oct. 11, the Court denied the foundation’s petition, which argued the lower court rulings set a dangerous precedent, allowing judicial records in disputes over the state’s burgeoning medical cannabis industry to be sealed — forever.

The foundation continues to believe that the lower court rulings are inconsistent with Georgia Supreme Court precedent supporting citizens’ right to inspect judicial records. The Court’s refusal to review the lower court decisions means the licensure and related operations of medical cannabis commerce remain, in practice, secret government decisions.

Since 2019, Georgia lawmakers and courts have wrestled with oversight of the business of medical cannabis. Legislation that would have made the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission subject to the state’s open meetings and open records laws did not pass the 2023 General Assembly. The issue could reemerge in the 2024 legislative session.

>>> GFAF asks Georgia Supreme Court to overturn rulings that harm public access to judicial records

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