Georgia Guide To Legal CBD Oil
Is CBD legal in Georgia in 2018? Historically, the U.S. state of Georgia has been slow to embrace the medical benefits of cannabis whether it be marijuana, the intoxicating form of cannabis, or hemp, its non-intoxicating cousin. Although there are some laws in place which govern the legal medicinal use of cannabis in the state of Georgia, many feel these measures fall far short being considered a truly compassionate medical marijuana program. What, exactly, are Georgia’s CBD laws?
What are Georgia’s current CBD-oil laws?
Back in 2015, legislation known as the “Haleigh’s Hope Act” was signed into law in Georgia. This law permits the use of low-THC, marijuana-derived cannabis oil by patients dealing with a list of qualifying medical conditions. This list includes cancer, epilepsy, MS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, AIDS, PTSD, and others. In 2018 another bill was signed which expanded this list of qualifying conditions.
This bill was supposed to show the state’s compassion for patients whose quality of life might be greatly improved via access to cannabis oil. But there was a big catch. The law makes no provisions for the production, distribution, or sale of cannabis oil. It only protects patients from being prosecuted for the possession of low-THC cannabis oil. Making or selling cannabis oil is still illegal in Georgia, leaving patients unable to legally purchase the product.
Since patients are not able to legally purchase this low-THC cannabis oil within the state of Georgia, they must purchase it in another state which does allow the production and sale of the product if they want to buy it legally.
But there’s another catch. All states that allow the production of cannabis oil from marijuana forbid its export, so interstate sales are illegal.
No matter which way you slice it, medical marijuana patients in Georgia who are covered by this law must still break other laws to take advantage of it. They just won’t have to worry about being prosecuted by the state for breaking those laws.
Furthermore, this marijuana-derived oil with up to 5% THC will very likely cause its users to fail a drug test. If a workplace forbids the use of THC and does drug testing, cannabis patients are subject to losing their jobs.
So that covers cannabis oils made from marijuana — barely — but what about CBD oil made from hemp and which is effectively THC-free?
Is hemp CBD legal in Georgia?
The measure mentioned above only applies to CBD oil made from marijuana. It does not apply to CBD oil made from hemp. It turns out that this is actually a good thing for those who would like to enjoy the health benefits of CBD oil without the THC and without the intoxication that comes with it. Hemp, in order to be legally cultivated, must have less than 0.3% THC, a level which is far below the 5% mark allowed by the bill and far below any level that might cause intoxication.
While a patient wishing to use cannabis oil must sign up for the state’s Low THC Oil Registry, and carry a valid medical cannabis card, those who are using hemp-derived CBD oil have no such restrictions.
While questions remain as to hemp-derived CBD oil’s status under federal law, many experts on the topic claim that the sale and possession of hemp CBD oil are perfectly legal in Georgia. And there seems to be no friction on the part of the state in this matter as there have been no moves to regulate or stop the sale of hemp CBD products in the state.
Why use low-THC cannabis oil rather than hemp CBD oil?
Although this in an article about the legality of CBD oil in Georgia, whether or not you decided to take advantage of the low-THC cannabis oil law or buy the hemp CBD is an important consideration. The question becomes, does the addition of THC into the formula result in a more effective treatment for your condition.
There are two camps on this matter. In one corner, we’ve got those who claim that full-spectrum CBD oil has all the medicinal cannabinoids needed to treat most conditions. These folks will generally agree that there might be cases in which the THC can provide added benefits. In the other corner are the folks who claim that without the THC, CBD oil is far less effective as a medicinal preparation. The truth is most likely somewhere in the middle. There are plenty of conditions for which hemp CBD may provide sufficient relief, and there are also some conditions for which THC may increase the efficacy of the oil.
Because this is highly debatable, we’re not going to get into making a list of those qualifying conditions which may may respond just as well with hemp CBD as with low-THC cannabis oil. It’s up to you to do some homework and discuss your options with knowledgeable medical professionals as well as others who are treating the same condition.
(On a side note, the 5% level of THC allowed in this “low-THC” oil is still far above the THC level found naturally in uncultivated cannabis, which can typically be as low as 1 or 2 percent THC, or even lower.)
How to legally buy low-THC CBD oil in Georgia
In order to buy the low-THC CBD oil (aka cannabis oil) in Georgia, first, you must register with the state’s Low THC Oil Registry. This is what protects your from prosecution by the state.
The next question is, where do you buy your CBD oil?
The only surrounding state with a legal cannabis oil program is Florida. Unfortunately, Florida does not accept out-of-state medical cards. That means you’ll have to go through the entire process of obtaining a Florida medical marijuana card, which is not easy.
There are some states which allow the purchase of cannabis oil using an out-of-state medical card. These include Arizona, Michigan, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. There are also a number of states where all forms of cannabis are legal regardless of whether or not you have a medical marijuana card. These include California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Massachusetts, and others. But, again, keep in mind that although you won’t be prosecuted in Georgia for possessing it, driving your medicine home across state lines or trying to bring it onto a plane can get you in trouble with local authorities.
Because of this Catch 22 situation — it’s legal to possess cannabis oil, but you can’t legally obtain it — many in Georgia are calling for revisions to the state’s cannabis laws. In a recent survey, 77% of participants reported that they are not opposed to setting up a real legal medical marijuana program in the state of Georgia.
In order to apply for a medical cannabis card in Georgia, you must first schedule an appointment with a physician. If they feel you are qualified, they will add your name to the ‘Low THC Oil Registry.’ Once you’ve been added to the list, you can purchase your ID card from one of 20 Public Health Offices across the state for a fee of $25. The card is valid for two years.
Also, keep in mind as you purchase these products that, in order to qualify as legal, they must be in a “pharmaceutical container” and must be labeled with the percentages of both the THC and CBD in the oil.
How to buy hemp CBD oil legally in Georgia
Although procuring low-THC cannabis oil is going to require jumping through some hoops and breaking a law or two somewhere along the way, fortunately, purchasing hemp CBD oil is a breeze. And although it may not contain THC, there’s a pretty good likelihood that it will provide some relief for most patients — that is, assuming you buy the right stuff.
Fortunately, there are quite a few online CBD oil vendors who carry high-quality hemp-derived CBD products. These products are made in states where it is completely legal for them to manufacture and export hemp products. Possessing these products is perfectly legal and you can have them shipped directly to your home without fear of breaking any laws.
Here are some links to get you started.