Is weed legal in Georgia?
Georgia marijuana laws allow only medical CBD in the form of extracts high in CBD and low in THC.
Atlanta, Savannah, and a few other cities have decriminalized possession of up to 1 ounce of cannabis and set penalties at $75 to $300. Otherwise, possession of 1 ounce or less is a misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Georgia’s HB 1, or the Haleigh’s Hope Act, cleared the path to create a patient registry for those with qualifying conditions to possess oil with less than 5% THC by weight. The bill was signed by Gov. Nathan Deal in April 2015. While it allowed possession of the oil, it made no provisions for in-state sales.
On May 9, 2018, Deal signed SB 16 to expand patient access to low-THC oil. The bill became effective in July 2018. In addition to adding qualifying conditions, the expansion allowed for Georgia hospice care residents to obtain low-THC oil.
Georgia’s Hope Act (HB 324), which became effective in July 2019, legalized purchasing low-THC oil by registered patients. It set up an in-state cultivation, production, and dispensing system and tasked the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission, under the Secretary of State, to oversee it. It also specified 20 fluid ounces as the maximum amount of oil patients could possess.
Purchasing cannabis in Georgia
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and Georgia Composite Medical Board work together to oversee the patient registry. Patients can obtain a registry card from the DPH with a doctor’s recommendation and payment of a $25 fee. Doctors are required to fill out two forms. Cards are ready for pickup from a public health office within 15 business days; they are valid for two years.
The state is setting up its seed-to-sale system so patients can’t yet purchase low-THC oil in the state of Georgia. They can possess, and eventually purchase, up to 20 fluid ounces of oil with no more than 5% THC.
Most of these conditions must be severe and/or end stage:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Autism spectrum
- Crohn’s disease
- Epidermolysis bullosa
- Hospice care patients
- Intractable pain
- Mitochondrial disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Sickle cell disease
- Tourette’s syndrome
Producers must use a state-approved lab to test low-THC oil for:
- Foreign matter
- Heavy metals
- Residual solvents