Is CBD oil legal in Georgia?
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- What is CBD?
- Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
- Georgia CBD laws
- Where to buy CBD in Georgia
- How to read CBD labels and packaging
CBD products are legal in Georgia, with the exception of CBD in foods, beverages, animal feed, or dietary supplements. The Georgia Hemp Farming Act, HB 213, which passed in May 2019, formally legalized the commerce of CBD products that conform with federal law requirements and contain 0.3% THC or less.
Georgia has had a restricted medical marijuana program in place since 2015. Qualifying patients can access CBD-rich cannabis oil that contains 5% THC or less. Adult-use cannabis remains illegal. Several municipalities in Georgia have effectively decriminalized the possession of small quantities of cannabis.
What is CBD?
CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis and the second-most prominent in the plant after THC, which is largely responsible for producing an intoxicating high. CBD can be sourced either from marijuana or hemp plants and has a wide range of potential therapeutic benefits.
To date, researchers have identified a number of potential applications linked to CBD, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, and anti-seizure properties. Further, the chemical has shown promise in treating numerous health conditions, including seizure disorders, mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis, chronic pain, and many more.
Most raw cannabis strains on the market today contain small amounts of CBD, especially compared with THC. But since the cannabinoid has gained considerable attention for its wide range of purported therapeutic benefits, more high-CBD strains have recently been cultivated.
Laws and regulations regarding CBD are evolving nationwide. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
All types of cannabis, including hemp strains that don’t produce enough THC to cause intoxication, were considered illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The law categorized all cannabis as Schedule 1, which defined the plant as a highly addictive substance with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.
The 2018 Farm Bill re-classified hemp as an agricultural commodity and made its cultivation federally legal. Further, the act removed some forms of cannabis from Schedule 1 status by creating a legal distinction between hemp and marijuana. Hemp is cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, and marijuana refers to cannabis with more than 0.3% THC. This distinction in federal law effectively legalized CBD that is derived from cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, as long as it has been cultivated according to federal and state regulations.
The 2018 Farm Bill legislation does not mean that CBD derived from hemp is universally legal throughout the United States. According to the Farm Bill, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the power to regulate CBD product labeling, including therapeutic claims and the use of CBD as a food additive.
The FDA has declared that even hemp-derived CBD may not legally be added to food and beverages, or marketed as a dietary supplement. Although the organization has begun to re-evaluate some of its stances on legal CBD products, the FDA has not revised its regulations. The agency also has been strict in its position against any labeling that could be perceived as a medical claim about CBD.
In addition to the federal regulation of CBD, the Farm Bill also gave states the option to regulate and prohibit the cultivation and commerce of CBD. States may regulate CBD in food, beverages, dietary supplements, and cosmetic products independently, even before the FDA finalizes its policies. Georgia is a state that closely adheres to the FDA stance regarding CBD as an additive in food, animal feed or dietary supplements.
Georgia CBD laws
Until May 2019, only CBD products with zero percent THC were legal in Georgia. The passing of HB 213, also known as the Georgia Hemp Farming Act, permitted the in-state production, processing, and sale of hemp and hemp products, and redefined CBD to match the federal definition.
Georgians can now legally purchase CBD products containing no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. The Georgia Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for the state’s industrial hemp program, has released a declaration prohibiting the sale of CBD in food, drink, animal feed, or dietary supplements.
Georgians can now legally purchase CBD products containing no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
In April 2015, Gov. Nathan Deal signed HB 1 into law. Also known as Haleigh’s Hope Act, this legislation allowed the use of CBD-rich oil derived from cannabis that contained no more than 5% THC for patients with qualifying medical conditions. While the law created the skeleton of a medical marijuana program for patients, it didn’t address how low THC oil would be produced, nor did it develop regulations around the purchase or transport of such products.
Haleigh’s Hope Act ensured only that qualified patients would be safe from prosecution for possession of low THC oil. On April 17, 2019, Gov. Brian Kemp signed HB 324, Georgia’s Hope Act, a bill that set up a regulatory system for the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) to license and regulate the production and sale of low THC oil for patients. The bill allows for up to six private companies and two universities to grow and manufacture low THC cannabis oil.
Pharmacies will initially sell cannabis oil, and private dispensaries can apply for a license to distribute low THC oil to patients. Dispensaries are expected to open in 2020.
Licensing requirements for CBD
The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is responsible for the oversight of hemp cultivation and production in the state. The GDA is currently in the process of drafting regulations surrounding the licensure and rules of the hemp farming program.
Until the regulations have been released, no licenses will be issued. Only entities with a license from the GDA will be legally permitted to grow and process hemp and hemp-derived CBD. The cultivation of hemp without a license is illegal. Although the GDA is still drafting regulations, HB 213 outlines some preliminary guidelines for those who wish to cultivate hemp.
Applicants must undergo a criminal background check performed by local law enforcement. Those with convictions related to controlled substances are not eligible to apply for licenses. Applicants must be qualified with agricultural experience. Annual licensing fees cost $50 per acre, with a maximum fee of $5,000.00.
Written consent must be provided for the GDA to inspect premises where hemp is grown. Licensees must provide samples of hemp and hemp-derived CBD products through internal personnel or via independent lab testing contractors. Lab tests must prove that the sample contains no more than 0.3% THC. Crops with more than 0.3% THC must be destroyed.
Georgia CBD possession limits
Georgia has no possession limits on hemp-derived CBD products as long as the products contain no more than 0.3% THC by weight.
Georgia law authorizes the legal possession of up to 20 fluid ounces of low THC cannabis oil by qualified patients. The possession of any form of marijuana by an unauthorized person is a violation of state and federal law.
The penalty for possession of an illegal form of CBD product or cannabis scales depends on the amount in possession and whether there is an intention to distribute. Possession of more than 1 ounce is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
Possession with intent to distribute is punishable by the same penalty tiers as the sale of illicit CBD or cannabis.
Where to buy CBD in Georgia
Georgia consumers can purchase hemp-derived CBD products from CBD-specific stores and health shops. While cafes and grocers may stock foods or beverages infused with CBD, the sale of these are prohibited by Georgia law.
Georgia consumers can purchase hemp-derived CBD products from CBD-specific stores and health shops. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
When purchasing from a storefront, particularly if the store specializes in CBD, you can receive guidance from an employee. Explain what you’re looking for, your reasons for consuming CBD, and they can point you in the right direction.
Georgia residents can also buy hemp-derived CBD online, usually through specific brands’ websites. You can also find verified CBD brands on Weedmaps. Reputable brands will generally provide you with essential product details, including the form of the CBD (such as oil, capsules, topicals, tinctures, etc.), the quantity of CBD the product contains, the other chemicals or ingredients present in the product, and more.
While many online checkout systems support US-based CBD sellers, some companies like Paypal consider CBD a “restricted business” and don’t support online sales. Confirm the websites’ checkout system before purchasing CBD online.
How to read CBD labels and packaging
The 2018 Farm Bill shifted the oversight of hemp and hemp-derived products from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA does not presently allow CBD-infused food, drinks, or dietary supplements to be sold, and hasn’t yet provided regulations for hemp-derived CBD products.
Still, the agency warns that regulations in flux still require companies to make legitimate claims on their labels. Buyers should nonetheless approach CBD products with caution. A CBD product should clearly state what kind of CBD is used.
Full-spectrum CBD oil means the extract contains cannabis-derived terpenes and trace amounts of cannabinoids such as THC. Broad-spectrum also includes other cannabis compounds but has had THC removed during the processing phase. CBD isolate is a pure crystalline powder containing only CBD.
Most reputable CBD producers typically include the following information on their CBD product labels:
- Amount of active CBD per serving.
- Supplement Fact panel, including other ingredients.
- Net weight.
- Manufacturer or distributor name.
- Suggested use.
- Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate.
- Batch or date code.
CBD Oil in Georgia: What’s Legal and What’s Not
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You can find tons of stores selling CBD oil in Georgia and thousands of people are using it to relieve stress and anxiety or treat a certain health condition like insomnia or diabetes. If you are tempted to buy one for the same reasons, you’re probably wondering about one thing.
Is CBD Oil Legal in Georgia?
CBD possesses only trace amounts of THC which is the same compound that produces the “high” one could get from using marijuana. It’s generally extracted from hemp which was basically removed from the Controlled Substances Act through the federal Farm Bill.
With that being said, CBD Oil is no longer illegal if you consider federal law.
In addition to that, the Georgia General Assembly also happened to pass a bill that permits the cultivation of hemp in the state.
Now, this is where it gets confusing.
Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black issues a warning that says CBD use in foods and drinks is still prohibited. Because of that, dozens of coffeehouses, bars, and restaurants pulled back their CBD products.
And there are people who have been arrested for possessing CBD oil. This includes a 69-year-old grandma who was handcuffed while being taken into custody at a Walt Disney World checkpoint because of a bottle of CBD oil inside her purse.
Sounds scary, right?
While the police don’t really like telling its people to live in fear of them, they want the public to be aware of the really small possibility of extreme instances happening, such as the episode that happened with the Disney grandma.
Going back to the question, the answer is yes.
As with the other 49 states of the country, you can legally use hemp oil in Georgia. You can sell, buy, and possess CBD oil without having to worry about facing legal issues.
Just make sure that the oil you have has low THC. Also, it should only be used for certain medical conditions.
Otherwise, you might end up with Georgia’s harsh marijuana law.
Where to Buy CBD Oil in Georgia?
Despite the confusion of the legality of CBD oil in Georgia, you can actually find it almost everywhere. In fact, you can even find it in sparkling water, ice cream, coffee, and kombucha.
However, if you really want something pure for your pain, anxiety, and trouble issues, you may want to consider buying CBD oil solely instead of getting it mixed with your drinks or food. It’s also a good option if you want to avoid legal consequences from using CBD oil in Atlanta and other cities in the state.
Now, there are a couple of ways to buy CBD oil in Georgia.
Your first option is to get a “low THC oil” card for the state. To get one, you need to see your physician to know if your eligibility.
Your information will be entered into the “Low THC Oil Registry” which we’ll cover later on. It’s where the entire process for application will be completed. After qualifying, you’ll be able to get your ID card from any of the Public Health Offices in the state.
If that sounds like a lot of work for you, you can just buy your CBD oil online. Make sure that you’re purchasing from a reputable and reliable company to ensure not just the product’s legality and quality but your safety, too.
For that matter, you may want to read our best CBD oil for anxiety and depression review to learn more about famous companies in the market.
Remember, the company you choose should be able to ship CBD oils that have 0.3% THC or lower as that’s what the law requires. Apart from that, you should also be aware of what extraction process the company uses for its products.
As much as possible, stick with companies that use CO2 extraction method. It’s considered as the safest means to extract high-quality and pure CBD oil.
Shipping and return policies matter, too.
Before placing your orders, double check if the company ships to Georgia. You should also check if you can actually return the oil in case there’s a problem with the packaging or the actual product.
Considering all those things, Sabaidee CBD makes an excellent option whether you’re new to using CBD products or you’re switching brands. It has the legal amount of THC so you won’t have to worry about failing drug tests.
Plus, the products it offers are high-quality ones, too.
Every product it sells has low THC level and there’s a good range of choices when it comes to strength and flavor. You should be able to find one that meets your health needs.
Sabaidee CBD Oil
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- Use code AmericanMarijuana for 15% OFF your purchase
How to Be Eligible to Buy CBD Oil in Georgia?
The medical marijuana law of the state only allows certain qualified persons to have a maximum of 20 fluid ounces of low THC CBD oil. If you want to qualify, there are certain criteria you have to meet.
In general, there are 3 categories of people who qualify for the card. First are the adults who have one or more of the law-specified diseases.
Next are the legal guardians of adults who have 1 or more of the said diseases. Parents or legal guardians taking care of a minor child may also apply for the card.
The list of diseases and conditions that qualify for the registry is quite long. However, as a way to guide you, we’ve listed down some of the diseases covered by the law.
- Seizure disorders that are related to epilepsy or head injuries related to trauma
- Mitochondrial diseases
- Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease at its most severe or end-stage
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at its end stage
- Crohn’s disease
- Intractable pain
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD that directly results from exposure or witnessing of a traumatic event
If you happen to be caring for your patient with another legal guardian, then you have the option to apply for separate cards.
Now, for the application process, it generally starts with the physician treating you. There are forms you’ll be required to fill.
The first one is the waiver form which you and your doctor needs to sign. Then, there’s the physician certification form.
For legal purposes, your doctor will keep the original certification and waiver. If you need to secure a copy for yourself, then you need to request a copy.
Your doctor will be the one to send your data to the Department of Public Health. Once there’s a confirmation for your qualification, they’ll start making your registry card.
There’s a standard fee for the card which you need to pay. It costs about $25.
Your card will be valid for two years from the date it’s issued. Don’t worry about forgetting its expiry date since it’s going to be printed in front of your ID card.
After such time, you’ll need to see your doctor again and request to have your information updated in the registry. Processing your data, printing your ID card, and getting it ready for pick-up will generally take around 15 business days.
If you happen to lose your card, you can call the State Office of Vital Records. They’ll contact your doctor just to confirm that you are still under his care.
After confirming that, you’ll be provided with a new registry card.
2020 News about CBD in Georgia
Georgia is one of those states that have confusing CBD laws. While it allows the use of CBD oils containing low THC, the addition of CBD oil into food and dietary supplement is considered against the law.
This is because the state’s Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Division follows the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. It states that the inclusion of hemp into animal feed, supplement, and food leaves the product adulterated.
And the Department won’t change their stand regarding recreational and medical marijuana in Georgia unless the FDA alters theirs.
The Department of Agriculture and the rest of the people responsible for drafting laws involving CBD oil use and hemp cultivation and processing are in the process of drafting better regulations and rules. They should be able to come up with a more finalized and solid rules soon.
Georgia has a harsh marijuana law and it makes the people who are in need of CBD oil for treating specific medical conditions wary not just for their health but their safety, too.Is it legal to use CBD oil in Georgia and where can you buy one for yourself? Find out everything you need to know in our article. ]]>