WHAT IS CBD AND IS IT LEGAL IN GEORGIA?
CBD is a naturally occurring chemical sold and purchased across the State of Georgia in products including soaps, cigarettes, candies, and more. CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol, which is a chemical found in marijuana & hemp plants that does NOT produce the “high” associated with THC (the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana plants). According to the National Cancer Institute—the federal government’s primary agency to address cancer research and treatment—CBD may relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and decrease anxiety.
Is CBD the same as Marijuana?
No, CBD and marijuana are NOT the same thing. Although CBD is a component of marijuana, it can also be extracted from hemp—recently defined by the federal government as a plant from the cannabis species that contains 0.3% THC or less.
Hemp and Marijuana look and smell alike but contain different levels of THC. While federal regulations require legal hemp plants to contain 0.3% THC or less, marijuana found in states that have legalized its medical or recreational use have 10%-30% THC.
So CBD is legal, but Marijuana is illegal?
Yes, but it’s a bit more complicated. The federal government distinguishes hemp from marijuana, and the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 made all hemp agriculture legal in the United States. The State of Georgia followed the federal trend and passed its own Hemp Farming Act in 2019 that regulates the cultivation, processing, and distribution of hemp.
However, the federal government continues to categorize marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance (drugs considered to have no medical benefit). Despite evidence that this categorization is rooted in political motives & lacking scientific support, our government has ignored scientific data available to change this classification.
What does Georgia say about CBD?
CBD is legal in Georgia if it contains no more than 0.3% THC. If you are buying CBD from a local retailer or online, it is important that the label is clear and accurate. There have been many examples of fake products with inaccurate labels, unverified testing, and unnatural ingredients.
What does Georgia say about Marijuana?
Although still behind the national trend, Georgia has legalized limited medical marijuana by allowing residents to apply for a Low THC Oil Registry Card from the Georgia Department of Health. With this card, you can carry up to 20 fluid ounces of cannabis oil containing no more than 0.5% THC per weight. The Low THC Oil Registry Card will be distributed to Georgia residents who obtain a doctor’s prescription to treat conditions including cancer, ALS, Seizures, Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease, Mitochondrial Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Sickle Cell Disease, Tourette’s Syndrome, Epidermolysis Bullosa, AIDS, or Peripheral Neuropathy.
Can I break the law by possessing CBD or Marijuana?
Yes. If you are caught with CBD that has more than 0.3% THC, Low-THC Oil with more than 0.5% THC, or more than 20 fluid ounces of Low-THC Oil, you could face criminal prosecution in accordance with Georgia’s ban on marijuana.
Possession of an ounce or less of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor. This crime includes a punishment of up to 12 months in jail or probation, up to a $1,000 fine, and could include court-mandated community service, drug evaluations, and drug screens.
Possession of more than an ounce of marijuana, or possession of any amount of marijuana less than 10 lbs with the intent to distribute, is considered a felony. This crime includes a punishment of up to 10 years in prison or probation, up to a $100,000 fine, and could include court-mandated community service, drug evaluations, and drug screens.
Trafficking of 10 lbs or more of marijuana is considered a felony. This crime includes a punishment of a minimum 5 years, 10 years, or 15 years in prison or probation and a minimum fine of $100,000, $250,000, or $1,000,000 (ONE MILLION DOLLARS) depending on the amount of marijuana. The maximum sentence for trafficking marijuana can be up to 30 years in prison.
Will I fail a drug test because of CBD?
Normal to high doses of pure CBD containing 0.3% THC or less should not result in a failed drug test according to a recent study by the University of Utah Health Sciences Center. Despite this, you need to know as much as you can about the type of CBD you are using, the accuracy of its labeling, and the dosage you are using to properly determine if you will pass a drug test.