CBD in Georgia
All Your Questions Answered
The Empire State of the South has had it’s rundowns with CBD. However, a stroll down the lanes and you will spot CBD in many stores, assuring you, that CBD is completely legal in the state. But is it?
Is CBD Oil Legal
If you consider the federal law then CBD Oil is Legal in all the states, including Georgia. However, this statement can’t be further away from the truth.
CBD is, in all forms, Illegal in Georgia!
The laws, however, do permit CBD’s use if you happen to suffer from a number of medical conditions. The Question then is:
CBD oil, as you must have heard, is derived from the cannabis plant and the state of Georgia has traditionally been the worst place for all things Cannabis.
The House Bill 1 passed in 2015 allowed patients suffering from medical conditions like epilepsy, cancer, Parkinson’s disease and a few more to access medical cannabis oil or oil with low THC contents.
This bill also authorised universities to research on CBD oil to check if it actually was beneficial for children suffering from seizures.
However, the ‘Cannabis Oil’(as it was referred to in the Bill) that is permitted for medical conditions shouldn’t more than 5% THC.
The level of abhorrence for anything even remotely related to cannabis was seen in the legal usage of the term where the oil was referred to as ‘Low-THC Cannabis Oil’ and not as the generally used term of CBD oil.
So, one can legally use and possess the low-THC oil in Georgia if you were a patient of one of the following medical conditions:
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Sickle cell disease
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Mitochondrial disease
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Epidermolysis bullosa (a rare skin condition)
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Intractable pain
.This identification of the disease from a valid physician will then allow one to apply for a patient identification card which will mention that you are registered in the State’s “Low-THC Oil Registry”.
This allowed the patient to legally possess up to 20 ounces of the CBD oil.
The Georgia General Assembly also passed a bill that allows the cultivation of hemp, as was done by the Federal Government in the 2018 Federal Farm Bill, in the state but then it gets all muddled with different legally sound organisations issuing contradictory statements and having very tangential opinions to each other as well.
The Agriculture Commissioner scared off stores, bars, restaurants, etc. who were using CBD in foods and drinks by issuing a warning that all CBD products are illegal and everyone pulled off these products from their shelves.
The CBD oil that has low THC is legal but CBD in food or as a dietary supplement is still against the law.
This is due to the definition from the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Division that under the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act mentions that any inclusion of hemp to food supplements and any normal food items as well as to animal feed will make the product adulterated and thus illegal in Georgia. And they refuse to change their stance unless or until the FDA alters their statement.
The people drafting these laws that involve CBD oil usage and hemp cultivation and processing need to draft better guidelines and come up with more solid and less confusing rules and regulations. Till then Georgia has harsh marijuana laws and the CBD oil laws are so confusing that even a person with a valid medical condition will be wary of the product, if they can find it legally, as well as for their safety under such contradictory laws.
But all this has changed in 2019 and things are only meant to get better from now onwards. And if one overlooks these few transgressions of the law and its officers in the lives of the general public, CBD oil is quite easy to obtain in Georgia.
Medical Marijuana Law of Georgia allows only patients that have been qualified with a set of identified diseases and health problems to possess low THC CBD oil. Such patients are allowed a maximum of 20 fluid ounces of the CBD oil. But to qualify is not an easy task.
There are generally three categories of people who qualify:
- Adults who have one or more of the specified disease or health issue
- Legal guardians of adults who have these health problems
- Parents or legal guardians of minors
The application process starts with the physician checking and confirming the diseases and then there are forms to be filled:
A waiver form that the doctor signs, a physician certificate form, a form to secure the original certificate and waiver from the doctor and then a form to be filled by the doctor for the Department of Public Health who after confirming your qualification will start with the process of creating your registry cards. This card is valid for only 2 years and at its expiry have to follow the process again.
There are many laws that are about to go into effect within a month from July 2019 like the House Bill 324 or the Medical Marijuana law that will help pave the way for people waiting in those medical lines since 2015 with a valid and registered ID card still could not get their hands legally on CBD oil as it was unlawful to transport anything related to cannabis in Georgia.
This law also allows six private companies to grow the Federal approved variety of medical marijuana and will also direct state boards to license dispensaries. It will also allow pharmacies to provide medical marijuana oil to patients.
This bill will also allow University of Georgia and Fort Valley State University to manufacture, purchase as well produce their own low THC oil. But these educational institutes might need further approval from the Drug Enforcement Agency to allow cannabis in their premises.
The future seems bright for CBD oil in Georgia!.
Where to buy CBD Oil,
Legally one can get only the low THC Cannabis Oil, only after you get an ID card made, for which after filling up all the forms and thus waiting for the product starts which has been on-going since 2015 as cannabis cannot be transported legally in the state.
This insistence on low-THC cannabis oil was put into place as per some people to protect individuals against self-medication.
The patients can procure their dose from the appointed dispensaries but they shall open not before mid 2020. Till then everyone who wants to get CBD oil legally has to wait.
On the other hand there are vape shops that you may visit to get a taste of your choice of CBD oil. Some of them are:
- Atlanta Vapor Peachtree City, Address:2842 GA-54, Peachtree City, GA 30269
- Bucky’s Vape Shop, Address:4820 Armour Rd B2, Columbus, GA 31904
- V8P Bar Duluth, Address:2860 Peachtree Industrial Blvd #400, Duluth, GA 30097
- Vape Pkwy Atlanta, Address:2620 Cobb Parkway Southeast #G, Smyrna, GA 30080
- FogItUp! Vape Shop, Address:5745 Wendy Bagwell Pkwy #4, Hiram, GA 30141
Horrors of Buying
In March 2019, a drug task force raided a store in Northwest Georgia in Dade County and seized gummy candies and dog treats that had CBD. Even though CBD derived from hemp has a much less THC content than is advised under the law, the law does not clearly mention that an individual may possess CBD oil. It seems that after saying ‘No’ for so long, many law enforcement and regulatory officers are having a problem saying ‘Yes’ to CBD oil.
Many people were arrested for possessing CBD oil, including a 69 year old grandmother who was videotaped while being handcuffed at the Walt Disney World checkpoint as she had a bottle of CBD oil in her purse. They later dropped the drug charges. The police department however issued a statement asking people to be aware of even small quantities of cannabis in their possession as it is illegal in Georgia.
How to get CBD Oil
But what is the point in running to the physical store and get involved in some supposedly illegal activity as per the convoluted definitions of the law when CBD oil companies are selling their products online and will readily ship it to your address. And all of that without the need to visit a doctor and filling up all the forms for a recommendation.
Just make sure that you are buying the product from a reliable company and the quality of the product is good. The law allows 0.3% THC or lower to be shipped. Also check for the extraction process employed and reports of a third party testing laboratory before you buy.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil in Georgia
The hard way is the completely safe way to get CBD in Georgia i.e. to wait for 2020. However you will also need a doctor’s recommendation against a valid health issue.
The easy way is the online way and get the product shipped to your doorstep till they frame better laws for Georgia.