According to Georgia law, you may possess up to 20 fluid ounces of CBD oil, but only if you have a qualifying medical condition, and only if the THC content of the oil is less than 0.3%.
Public opinion about cannabis is changing, and many states have been enacting laws that reflect the public’s growing acceptance of the cannabis plant as a source of harmless, even therapeutic substances. At the state level, Georgia’s cannabis laws are some of the most restrictive in the United States; Georgia is a long way from making weed just another recreational substance that licensed businesses can sell to consenting adults in broad daylight, one that, like alcohol, the law assumes that adults can use responsibly. Except for a few localities that have decriminalized marijuana, possession of any smokable cannabis or any pot brownies strong enough to make you wax philosophical is against the law. CBD oil has recently been decriminalized, but there are plenty of ambiguities and contradictions in Georgia’s cannabis laws. If, despite your best efforts to abide by the rapidly changing laws, you end up with criminal charges, contact a Georgia marijuana crimes defense lawyer.
How is CBD Different from Marijuana?
The compound in plants of the genus Cannabis (C. sativa and C. indica) responsible for producing the euphoric high is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Pursuant to federal law, Georgia classifies Cannabis plants that contain 0.3 percent THC or more as marijuana and Cannabis plants with less than that concentration of THC as hemp. Meanwhile, cannabidiol (CBD) is the substance in cannabis that causes most of the medicinal effects, such as the relief of pain, nausea, and anxiety. It is legal to possess CBD oil in Georgia, but not THC oil. Possession of cannabis leaves is illegal, except in small amounts in Atlanta, Savannah, Clarkston, South Fulton, Forest Park, Kingsland, Statesboro, Chamblee, and Macon-Bibb County. Sale of cannabis edibles is illegal in Georgia.
Cannabis Laws in Georgia
Until recently, cannabis and all its derivatives were completely illegal in Georgia. These are the state laws that changed things:
- HB1, known as Haleigh’s Hope Act, protected patients with qualifying medical conditions from prosecution for possession of cannabis oil, as long as the oil had less than 5% THC content. SB 16 and HB 65, enacted in 2017 and 2018, respectively, added to the list of medical conditions that qualify a patient for legal use of cannabis oil.
- HB 324, known as Georgia’s Hope Act, set up a program for the legal regulation of commercially cultivated and sold low-THC CBD oil. Patients with low THC cards, for which they can apply through their physicians, may purchase CBD oil from licensed dispensaries, and the oil has a THC content below the legal limit. The maximum amount of low-THC CBD oil that you can legally buy and possess is 20 fluid ounces.
Managing a Chronic Illness with CBD is Not a Crime
Compared to many other states, Georgia’s cannabis laws are downright draconian. Contact the defense lawyers at Ghanayem & Rayasam in Atlanta, Georgia about your marijuana possession case.