Georgia’s CBD laws are a bit complicated. As many state legislatures, representatives in Georgia have worked to create an extensive regulatory framework for both cannabis and CBD. While both industries continue to rise in popularity with each passing day, Georgian legislators have passed a law that allows specific qualifying patients to access cannabis CBD products. As with most states, it is legal to possess any amount of industrial hemp-derived CBD.
There are a few stipulations to the medical cannabis law, though. This guide has been created as a basic introduction to some of the most important aspects of Georgia’s CBD laws. However, users should always be sure to contact local agencies and inquire about how their local jurisdiction responds to these laws. Varying interpretations of state law can occur, and it’s the responsibility of users to ensure that they behave within the confines of the state, local, and federal law alike.
States that have legalized hemp within their borders likely have their own regulations or proposed regulations for the governance of the substance. Generally, regulations involve the cultivation, growth, and use of hemp. Having a general understanding of the regulations within one’s state can provide individuals with insight into how the state treats the substance. In this case, this post covers the regulation of hemp in Georgia.
Medical Cannabis In Georgia
Georgia’s House of Representatives passed House Bill 1, which earned the public nickname “Haleigh’s Hope Act.” The law allowed patients with significant, chronic health issues to access CBD and oil derived from the cannabis plant. Additionally, the bill now allows certain research and educational institutions to conduct research in the CBD field.
The law stipulates that cannabis oils must contain a THC content of below five percent. So far, the state has not passed any additional law to extend the legalization to a wider breadth of cannabis products. As a consequence, it is unclear whether Georgians are allowed to legally possess non-oil cannabis CBD products without repercussions.
However, CBD oil derived from cannabis could be effective at treating a multitude of conditions. Users seeking cannabis CBD oil in Georgia should speak with their physician about getting access to the state’s medical cannabis program.
Georgia Hemp CBD
The federal farm bill of 2014 legalized the industrial hemp industry all over the country. Georgia complies completely with this interpretation of the law. Georgians can purchase CBD derived from the industrial hemp plant in nearly any quality from a variety of retailers all over the state. Buyers must be over the age of eighteen in most jurisdictions, and perhaps even twenty-one in some others.
Hemp CBD must have a THC content of below 0.3 percent to be legal under the state’s definition of hemp-derived CBD. Users should check with local officials to ensure that they are following all necessary laws in their area.
The Passage of Licensing to Grow and Process Hemp
Georgia’s state legislature passed House Bill 213, also known as the Georgia Farming Act. According to the bill, its intent is to do the following, including but not limited to:
Exploring the cultivation and processing of hemp and its potential for new markets for farmers and businesses through hemp product sales
Explore expansion of the hemp industry in the state to permit farmers and businesses to cultivate, handle, and process hemp and to sell such products for commercial purposes
Encourage and empower research into growing of hemp and creating products at universities in the private sector
The Bill defines hemp as the Cannabis sativa L. plant and any part of it, including seeds, derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, and salts of isomers, with the federally defined THC level of hemp or a lower level. The federally defined THC level is 0.3% or less on a dry weight basis. The regulations indicate that to cultivate, handle, or process hemp in the state, one must hold a hemp grower license or hemp processor permit issued by the Department pursuant to the Bill or be employed by a licensee or permittee.
The Bill also indicates that hemp grower licenses are issued for one calendar year at an annual licensee fee. The fee is $50 per acre cultivated and the max license fee is $5,000.00. To apply for a hemp grower license, one must be a qualified agricultural producer.
There are also provisions concerning the process for applying for a hemp processor permit. Those applying must provide informing including, but not limited to a legal description and global positioning coordinates for locating facilities for processing hemp, affidavits of applicants and licensees, consent from allowing representatives of the department, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and other affected state and local law enforcement agencies to enter the premises where the substance is being processed or handled for the purpose of conducting a physical inspection.
Further, those who receive permits must comply with Code Section 2-23-7 before starting a hemp processing activity. The Department is also permitted to randomly test the hemp fields and greenhouses of all licensees.
These are just a few of the general provisions of the Bill. To read the full Bill and to become familiar with the regulations, visit here.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture has also released rules concerning general provisions, hemp growers, and processors. The rules can be found here.
CBD as a Food Additive in the State
According to a press release issued on May 10, 2019, even though HB 213 was signed into law and permits the sale of hemp and hemp products, CBD in food or dietary supplements is unlawful according to the Food and Drug Administration regulations. Further, the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s (GDA) Food Safety Division has adopted the Food Drug and Cosmetics Act, which determines that when CBD or hemp is included in food, animal, or dietary supplements, the product becomes adulterated. The full press release can be read here.
Overall, this is a general overview of regulations in Georgia concerning hemp. Those who are interested in learning more should read the regulations issued by the applicable regulatory bodies.
Disclaimer: This is not legal advice or guidance. But simply general information. It is best to stay abreast of federal law and the law in one’s state and individuals are responsible for their own decisions concerning CBD and marijuana.