Disclaimer: The information below is fully based on our independent research. While our team does everything in their power to provide accurate and current information from credible state-run websites and resources, we are not lawyers or legal experts. As such, none of the following information should be interpreted as legal advice. Content on these pages is provided for informational purposes only and those with legal concerns should consult experts within their state.
People throughout the country have turned to cannabidiol, also known as CBD, for a wide range of potential benefits. Unlike THC, CBD is nonintoxicating. While both are found in marijuana, only CBD is found in great concentrations in hemp. Many anecdotal reports indicate that CBD can be helpful for maladies that include chronic pain, insomnia, nausea and anxiety. There have also been clinical studies that indicate that CBD can be helpful for certain seizure disorders.
However, before seeking this remedy, most people wish to ensure that what they are looking at is tested and legal. We’ve put together what we’ve been able to learn about the answer to the question “is CBD legal in Georgia?”
Is CBD oil legal in Georgia?
Yes, CBD is legal in Georgia, as it is in the other 49 states. Hemp-based CBD can be purchased by people of any age without a prescription. Hemp-based CBD products must contain less than .3% THC.
There are, however, exceptions to Georgia’s laws allowing the purchase of hemp-based CBD. CBD cannot be included in foods, beverages, animal feed or dietary supplements in Georgia.
Marijuana-based CBD oil can be obtained by people with a handful of approved medical conditions. These cannabis oil products can legally contain up to 5% THC under state law.
A small handful of hemp processors are allowed to operate in the state of Georgia. The state, which is still finalizing its industrial hemp program, says on their website that new licenses for growers and processors will be issued in January of 2021. There is currently no permit needed to sell hemp-based CBD products in Georgia.
What are the current CBD laws in Georgia?
Many people would be surprised to learn that Georgia has a long history with therapeutic cannabis products such as low-THC/high-CBD cannabis oil. Medical cannabis was, in fact, first studied in the state in the 1970s. The programs were operated by researchers and few participants were permitted.
These studies influenced the state’s first medical marijuana law, passed in 1980. The state’s legislature voted 50-0 in the Senate and 156-8 in the House to pass a bill supporting medical marijuana for people diagnosed with glaucoma and to help cancer patients offset the effects of chemotherapy and radiation. However, while the bill was passed and became law, no framework for enforcement was ever put into place. The state’s first medical marijuana law lingered on the books for over 30 years without a single patient being permitted to legally use cannabis products.
In 2015, a new bill, the Haleigh’s Hope Act, was signed by Governor Nathan Deal. The new law made room for the potentially therapeutic properties of cannabinoids like CBD. Under this law, patients with any of eight qualifying medical conditions were permitted to possess low-THC cannabis oil for therapeutic purposes. Under the law, the oil must contain less than 5% THC. The state added two more conditions, post-traumatic stress disorder and intractable pain, to the permitted conditions list in 2018. However, there was no provision for legal sale or production of cannabis oil in the state. Patients either had to order by mail or have family members in other states acquire their cannabis oil for them.
However, patients who were approved for low-THC oils had no way to attain these products inside the state of Georgia until recently. Governor Brian Kemp signed a new bill into law in January, 2020. This law allowed for the expansion of legal dispensaries for medical patients. The law also allowed for limited growth of cannabis in Georgia. under the new law, up to nine acres of indoor growing space can be used to cultivate medical marijuana oil. Under the law, patients can possess up to 20 fluid ounces of low-THC CBD oil. Caretakers are not permitted to hold the oil for patients. Anyone in possession of an illegal form of a CBD or THC product can be prosecuted. Possession of more than an ounce is a felony in Georgia, with penalties up to 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
While cannabis-based CBD is limited to those with a medical marijuana card, hemp-based CBD can now be purchased by individuals throughout the state. In the past, only CBD with zero percent THC could legally be sold in Georgia. Additionally, the cultivation of hemp was illegal within the state. This was because hemp was outlawed federally at the same time that marijuana was, which limited the plant’s cultivation. This occurred despite the fact that, while marijuana and hemp are closely related, hemp contains almost no intoxicating THC.
The state passed the Georgia Hemp Farming Act (HB 213) in May 2019. Under the new law, hemp-based CBD with a THC content up to .3% THC can now be sold in the state. However, in alignment with the FDA’s federal requirements, CBD cannot be added to food, drink, dietary supplements or animal feed offered for sale.
Georgia began issuing permits to a small number of licensed hemp processors to operate in the state in March of 2020. These processors can work with a limited number of hemp strains that have a dry weight concentration of no more than .3% THC. Grower licenses are expected to be offered as of January 2021. The fees for licensing are higher than in many other states. A processor license costs $25,000 for the initial license and carries an annual renewal fee of $10,000. Hemp growers must pay an annual fee of $50 per acre that they wish to cultivate with hemp, with fees maxing out at $5000.
When growing or processing hemp in the state, samples myst by submitted for lab testing to ensure that they do not contain more than the legally allowed amount of THC.
Can I purchase CBD in Georgia?
Yes, CBD products can be purchased throughout the state. Individuals with a medical marijuana card can buy marijuana-based CBD products from pharmacies or dispensaries. There is no need for a prescription to buy hemp-based CBD in Georgia. Additionally, there is no minimum age requirement for buying hemp-based CBD in the state.
There are a number of CBD-oriented retail outlets that specialize in CBD oils, extracts, lotions, capsules and other CBD products. You can also find CBD in natural food stores, drug stores and convenience stores. CBD edibles such as gummies, CBD-infused drinks and CBD brownies are also widely available in grocery stores and cafes. However, these products remain technically illegal under Georgia law.
Many people in Georgia opt to purchase CBD products online. Often, people are able to find better prices or a wider array of options when shopping online. They may also have the opportunity to find vendors who offer more rigorous testing, or more information about independent testing and findings. As long as these products adhere to the .3% THC limit, it is legal for people in the state to purchase and have them sent to Georgia.