Do you reside in the state of Georgia and have you ever wondered is CBD legal in Georgia? This article will answer that question in detail.
The confusion between the federal and state laws regarding CBD and other cannabis products is a big problem in the U.S. While the laws in some states match the federal law, others have a different set of regulations and legislations.
Because of this mix-up, more people end up selling, and buying, illegal CBD products and getting into trouble with the law. But is CBD legal in Georgia? The simple answer is yes, except when it’s added in beverages, foods, animal feed, or dietary supplements.
The laws in Georgia align with the 2018 United States Farm Bill, which allows cultivation, production, and processing of hemp as long as it contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In addition, Georgians can legally possess cannabis-derived CBD oil that contains not more than 5% THC, specifically for medical conditions.
So what are the restrictions and laws regarding CBD in Georgia? Let’s take a closer look.
What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid present in cannabis. After THC, this chemical compound is second-most prominent in the plant. CBD has tons of therapeutic benefits and can be sourced from hemp plants or marijuana.
CBD and THC have a similar molecule structure but with a different atom arrangement. This critical distinction is what makes THC intoxicating, while CBD will not get you high. The effect on the body from the two compounds is also completely different.
Researchers have linked CBD to several medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Products such as CBD oil are good for the skin.
They can be added to lotions, creams, or applied directly to the skin to deal with dryness, inflammation, and skin damage. These benefits of CBD arise from the fact that when the product is consumed or used, the CBD binds with the cannabinoid receptors but will not have any intense psychoactive effects.
Based on these properties, this compound has become popular among cannabis enthusiasts, with more of them seeking these potential benefits. In addition, more producers, growers, and processors are also extracting industrial hemp to meet the demand, now that the federal law decriminalized this product.
The laws surrounding CBD have been confusing, especially to retailers, growers, processors, and users. States are independent and can make laws to regulate CBD and other cannabis products without necessarily sticking to the FDA rules. Because of this, you should confirm that your state allows CBD products before buying, selling, or growing them.
Read on to find a detailed answer to the question - is CBD legal in Georgia?
Is CBD Legal in Georgia? [Laws & Regulations]
Is CBD legal in Georgia in 2021? Over the years, the laws about cannabis products have changed in Georgia, but currently, CBD products are legal, thanks to the passing of The Georgia Hemp Farming Act, HB 213, passed in May 2019. This act formally legalized CBD products that conform with federal law Farm Bill requirements and contain less than 0.3% THC.
Despite the passing of this law, several restrictions still exist. For instance, smokable CBD is not allowed. Although CBD is safe for pets, the state of Georgia also prohibits the addition of CBD in animal foods. Here are some of the laws and regulations in Georgia.
Governor Nathan Deal signed HB 1 into law. Also referred to as Haleigh's Hope Act, this act legalized the use of cannabis-derived CBD oil with 5% THC or less for use for people with certain medical conditions. This act protected patients from prosecution when found in possession of low THC oil.
However, this law did not clearly define how the low-THC oil will be produced, transported and also rules about purchasing. To clarify these disparities, the legislators introduced another bill that had more details.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH), these are the laws regarding the low THC oil in Georgia.
To possess this low THC oil, an individual needs to have a valid patient identification card. This card is proof that you are registered to the low THC oil registry. The following people are eligible for this card.
Adults with one or more diseases as specified in the law are eligible. The legal guardians of an adult with one or more health conditions as indicated in the law. Additionally, the legal guardians or parents of a child who has one or more of the diseases.
The application for this card should be sent to the department by the physician treating the patient. The Low THC Registry Card is charged a fee of $25 per new card and will be valid for two years.
The Diseases Covered
You can only legally buy the low THC oil if you have some specific diseases. These include end-stage cancer, seizure disorders related to head injury or epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, end-stage multiple sclerosis, sickle cell disease, Parkison’s disease, end-stage Alzheimer's, end-stage AIDS, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
In addition, you are also eligible if you have severe Tourette’s syndrome, Epidermolysis bullosa, extreme pain, mitochondrial disease, end-stage peripheral neuropathy, or a patient in a hospice program.
The HB 324, also known as Georgia's Hope Act, was signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp in April 2019. This act set up the regulatory system for the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) to regulate the sale and production of low THC oil as well as provide licenses.
In addition to setting these rules up, the bill allowed six private companies and two universities to grow and manufacture the low THC cannabis oil.
Under this bill, the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission oversees the growing, manufacturing, and dispensing of low THC oil in Georgia.
Licensing of CBD in Georgia
Before planting hemp, farmers need to obtain state permits from the Georgia Department of Agriculture. They are also currently drafting regulations, rules, and licenses that hemp farmers need to get before proceeding.
No new licenses will be issued to farmers until the regulations have been released. Therefore, only farmers approved by the GDA can process and grow hemp-derived CBD in Georgia. Despite the preliminary regulations in HB 213 for hemp growers, it's now illegal to grow the crop without a license.
Getting one of these permits is also very hard. Applicants have to go through a criminal check by local law enforcement. If you have been previously convicted on charges related to controlled substances, you are not eligible. You also need to have agricultural experience and pay an annual licensing fee of $50 per acre and a maximum fee of $5,000.
Before the inspection, the hemp growers have to have a written consent to allow GDA officials to inspect where the hemp is grown.
The State of Georgia has testing requirements for all these CBD products according to the Georgia Hemp Program. Once you get a license, you must provide samples of the hump-derived CBD products either via independent lab testing companies registered with the DEA or internal personnel. The tests should prove that your products don't have more than 0.3% THC.
The samples will be tested for THC on the dry weight. According to the laws, any crops with more than the required amount of THC must be destroyed.
What is the CBD Possession Limit in Georgia?
According to the Georgia state and federal laws, possession of any form of marijuana by a person who is not authorized is illegal. The law in Georgia only allows legal possession of up to 20 fluid ounces of low THC oil by qualified patients, as indicated in the house bill.
Therefore, if you are found in possession or selling any type of cannabis for recreational purposes, you might end up in jail.
In addition, there’s no possession limit on hemp-derived CBD, but it has to contain 0.3% THC or less by weight; otherwise, you’ll get into legal trouble.
Based on the laws, illegal possession of any form of CBD or cannabis will be penalized depending on the amount you have and whether you intended to distribute. If you are caught by law enforcement with more than one ounce, you could get ten years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.
If your crime is possession with the intention to distribute, your penalty will be the same as someone arrested for the sale of illegal cannabis and CBD.
Where to Buy Best CBD Products In Georgia?
With all these regulations and restrictions regarding CBD products, where can you buy CBD in Georgia?
Georgia residents can buy CBD products both online and at physical stores. Several health shops, convenience shops, and CBD-specific retailers stock these products.
According to the law, you can only buy non-edible products, CBD tinctures, and topicals. The law doesn't allow for the sale of CBD in food and drinks.
When purchasing the products at a shop, ensure you talk to an employee who can point you in the right direction so that you can get the right product.
If you prefer to buy online, you should find brands from reputable companies. A good brand will provide information about the product details, ingredients, amount of CBD, and any other chemicals present. In addition, they should have certification such as the certificate of analysis (COA) as proof that their products have been tested.
Also, choose products that have been certified by the US Hemp Authority. This indicates that the hemp used in the product was grown under strict regulations and high-quality standards. Before picking a product, ensure you read and check the packaging well.
Here are some of the CBD products you can buy in Georgia.
CBD Farmhouse – Delta-8 THC Gummies
These CBD gummies are ideal because they don’t have any intoxicating properties. Each pack of 25mg has a high-quality terpene profile. You can use distillates to access the natural terpenes, which induce a euphoric, relaxed feeling.
They are vegan and derived from Colorado-grown organic hemp plant material. Once consumed, the effects that last for up to 8 hours. If you are a beginner, it's advisable to start with one daily until the body gets familiarized.
CBD Flower (Genesis Hemp Buds)
These hump buds are good for relaxation, sleep, and pain relief. This product is a premium organic CBD flower that you can consume either with a pipe, bong, or a dry herb vaporizer. This CBD flower conforms to the U.S Farm Bill and has 0.3% of THC.
Naturally Peaked – CBD Vape Cartridge
This high-quality CBD liquid also has naturally derived plant terpenes. It’s organically grown in Colorado and derived from 100% industrial hemp; therefore, it's within the legal limitations. It also comes in different flavors; therefore, you can choose your preference.
Pinnacle Hemp – CBD Tincture
This CBD tincture is made from the highest quality hemp. It's also organic and 3rd party tested; hence safe for use.
If you have been wondering is CBD legal in Georgia and what’s the CBD law in Georgia? You now have your answer. CBD has been legalized in Georgia as long as the product abides by federal law, contains 0.3% THC, and is extracted from industrial hemp.
In addition, the state laws also allow low THC oils for medicinal use only. This is prescribed to people with certain conditions who must have a registry card to access the products. Therefore, if you are found in possession of more than the authorized CBD, you might end up in jail for several years.
The state also has permits that all growers need to get before growing the crop. There are strict rules around testing to ensure that the product is within the set THC limits. Also, the farmers have to undergo a background check to get the permit.
The cannabis laws in most states in the U.S. are changing, and Georgia is one of them. As long as you stay within the rules, you can enjoy your legal hemp-derived CBD without any problem.
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