CBD and THC are two natural components found in both marijuana and hemp. Marijuana and hemp are both cannabis plants and often referred to by their plant family name. This confuses many, especially when it comes to discussions about what is legal in Georgia.
While both CBD and THC affect the body, THC is the compound that alters the brain and makes you feel high. CBD tends to lead to feelings of well-being. CBD oil is legal in Georgia while THC oil is not, with the exception of low THC oil for residents with certain medical conditions who are registered with the state.
CBD stands for cannabidiol. CBD oil and other CBD products are made from the hemp plant. Even though hemp products still contain small amounts of THC, they are no longer a violation of the state’s Controlled Substance Act. Hemp naturally has lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD.
Hemp and hemp products, with the exception of hemp-infused food and drinks, became legal in Georgia in May 2019. Hemp is defined by the U.S. government as containing “extremely low (not more than .3% on a dry weight basis) concentrations of THC.” Georgia adopted the same definition. While hemp can be grown and products containing it manufactured and sold in Georgia, the state still closely regulates these processes.
You can buy CBD oil online or in various shops. Just make sure it contains no more than the legal .3% of THC. If it does, then it falls outside the legal definition, and you are violating the law.
Low THC oil is defined by Georgia law as an oil that “contains an amount of cannabidiol and not more than 5% by weight of tetrahydrocannabinol, tetrahydrocannabinol acid, or a combination of tetrahydrocannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinol acid which does not contain plant material exhibiting the external morphological features of the plant of genus Cannabis.”
The possession and use of low THC oil is legal in Georgia only for persons with certain medical conditions who are registered with the state’s Department of Public Health. The state lists 17 qualifying medical conditions, which include, but are not limited to: cancer, Tourette’s syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and seizure disorders.
A physician must apply for a registration card on behalf of a patient. Cards are valid for two years from the issue date. Registered individuals are allowed to carry up to 20 fluid ounces of low THC oil in a pharmaceutical container labeled by the manufacturer stating the amount of THC. Registered individuals must have their registration card on hand when possessing the oil.
In Georgia, it is illegal for anyone other than a registered individual to possess low THC oil, even in small amounts. An unregistered person caught carrying 20 ounces or less faces a misdemeanor charge and up to 12 months in jail if convicted.
Any person – registered or not – caught with more than 20 ounces but less than 160 ounces faces a felony charge and, if convicted, could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. Possession of larger amounts of low THC oil can be considered drug trafficking and can result in up to 20 years in jail if convicted. In most cases, individuals are also penalized with fines if convicted.
Oils containing more than 5% of THC are still illegal in Georgia. If convicted of possessing these, the penalties range from one year in jail for possession of less than 1 ml to up to 15 years or more, depending on the quantity.
If you have been accused of carrying a large amount of low THC oil or CBD oil with more than the legal percentage of THC, we can help. Contact the experienced attorneys at Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense firm.