December 04, 2020 7 min read

A U.S. map showing Georgia and surrounding states

Georgia was one of the states to expand CBD access to qualifying medical patients before industrial hemp gained federal legal status. Since then, the state has passed other laws to help regulate hemp production and sales in the state, but many people still find the laws to be unclear.

Is CBD legal in Georgia for all consumers?

If you’re one of the many people in Georgia looking to access CBD for conditions like anxiety and insomnia, you may be in luck!

But you’ll need to understand the state’s legal restrictions on hemp-derived products to ensure that you buy from a legal, high-quality source.

Here’s the breakdown of Georgia’s CBD laws:

Table of Contents
Legal Concerns About CBD
What are the CBD laws in Georgia?
Is full spectrum CBD legal in Georgia?
Are CBD flowers legal in Georgia?
Does Georgia have a CBD possession limit?
Who can prescribe CBD in Georgia?
Where to buy CBD in Georgia?
How old to buy CBD in Georgia?
Is CBD legal in all 50 states?
Resources

Disclaimer: We’re always working to stay informed on the latest CBD laws and research. However, state laws are subject to change and we advise that you do your own research to verify the information you find in this article. This is not intended as legal advice.

Key Takeaways

  • Georgia introduced legislation to allow qualifying medical patients to access CBD in 2015. The state finally updated their industrial hemp laws in 2019 to match federal legislations and set the pace for industrial hemp production within the state.
  • The state does not allow the sale of CBD as an ingredient in food, drinks, dietary supplements, or pet food products. They also have a ban on smokable forms of CBD.
  • The state also has no minimum age requirements, but it may not be easy to access CBD in stores for consumers who are under 21.
  • Doctors in Georgia may recommend CBD, but you don’t need a prescription to access it.
  • It’s unclear if most of the CBD marketed in Georgia is legal, and the government imposes very few regulations to protect consumers. Certain practices, like buying CBD online and properly vetting your CBD brand, may reduce the risks of buying low-quality formulas.

Legal Concerns About CBD

It’s true that CBD gained its federal legal status in 2018. The Hemp Farming Act effectively removed industrial hemp and its natural derivatives (like cannabinoids) from the Controlled Substances Act.

But there’s a catch, and it complicates things:

Legal CBD products must come from industrial hemp.

This classification is designated to hemp material that meets a strict set of standards. The most significant is that it contains less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. If CBD products are made from any cannabis strain that contains more than 0.3% THC, it is not a federally legal product.

That’s not all—

The final product must contain less than 0.3% THC, too.

That means that even if a brand starts with legal hemp material, they need to carry out careful manufacturing procedures to produce a legal end product. It’s possible for certain cannabinoids to be “concentrated” during the extraction process, leading to higher THC concentrations than in the original material. Proper manufacturing and careful testing need to be employed to avoid this issue.

Because there is very little regulation in the CBD industry, it’s important to evaluate a brand carefully before you buy. It can be hard to tell if a CBD product is made from a legal hemp source and meets the federal guidelines for legal hemp products. The best way to ensure that your CBD products are legal is by checking the third-party lab tests for cannabinoid potency.

Of course, these regulations only apply on a federal scale. You must also ensure that your products meet the standards laid out by federal guidelines and those set by your state.

A CBD tincture, a consumable product that may not be accessible in stores in Georgia

What are the CBD laws in Georgia?

Georgia seemingly had a heads up on the CBD industry when the Haleigh’s Hope Act was passed in 2015. This bill removed legal restrictions on cannabis products containing less than 0.5% THC for patients with qualifying conditions, but it came with a few caveats. Although the bill aimed to expand access to medical CBD products, it failed to establish or regulate a means of production.

When the 2018 Farm Bill effectively legalized industrial hemp products across the country, Georgia’s laws at the time still banned all products containing even trace amounts of THC for general consumers. In 2019, the state passed HB 213 to change that.

This bill, known as the Georgia Hemp Farming Act, finally laid out the guidelines for a hemp pilot program in the state. All in all, the bill is similar to the hemp farming programs established in other states like Colorado and Arkansas. It legalized the production, manufacture, and sale of industrial hemp products. The bill also redefined hemp to match the federal definition, which includes hemp derivatives and cannabinoids, like CBD.

Although this bill legalized hemp-derived cannabinoids, the state has specifically banned the sale of CBD in food, beverages, dietary supplements, and animal feed, according to a press release from the Georgia Department of Agriculture. This type of prohibition on CBD food items isn’t uncommon, and California’sgovernment has issued similar declarations. Before allowing this type of product to be manufactured and sold, many states are awaiting FDA regulation on CBD-infused food products.

Additionally, Georgia has placed restrictions on smokable forms of industrial hemp products, like CBD hemp flower, for medical and general consumers. This legislation is akin to the ban on smokable CBD products in the neighboring state of Florida.

Despite these laws, many vendors are still marketing CBD food and dietary products even though they may be illegal. It’s unclear what the repercussions may be for violating Georgia’s CBD laws, but there are no laws against using hemp CBD products for consumers so long as they are derived from a legal source.

Is full spectrum CBD legal in Georgia?

Although the state originally banned any product containing even trace amounts of THC, updated legislation now matches federal legislation regarding hemp-derived CBD products. Georgia has no laws restricting full spectrum CBD products that contain 0.3% THC or less.

Are CBD flowers legal in Georgia?

Georgia has legalized the production of industrial hemp, but still maintains a ban on using smokable forms of CBD across the state. Other states, like Arkansas and Texas, have adopted this law.

Does Georgia have a CBD possession limit?

To date, there are no possession limits for CBD products that meet legal guidelines. CBD products that contain over 0.3% THC may be classified as cannabis products, which are illegal in Georgia.

Who can prescribe CBD in Georgia?

In Georgia, you do not need a prescription to access CBD products. In fact, doctors typically cannot “prescribe” CBD products that are sold over the counter, rather they may “recommend” them. Even in states where medical marijuana is legal, access usually requires a doctor’s recommendation, not a prescription.

CBD is still new, and only one CBD product has been approved by the FDA to date. This product, GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex, is designed to treat rare forms of childhood epilepsy. Aside from this product (which comes with stringent usage guidelines), many doctors are still learning about CBD. If you’re interested in the benefits of CBD, you may need to spark a conversation with your doctor.

Where to buy CBD in Georgia?

A handful of CBD softgels, which are considered dietary supplements by Georgia law.

In Georgia, it is illegal to market CBD as a food, beverage, dietary supplement, or pet food product. It is known that vendors may still sell CBD across the state, but whether or not these products are legal is unclear.

Although the state has laid plans for the manufacture and production of industrial hemp products, the regulations in place are negligible. That means that CBD sold in the state of Georgia is likely either illegal or completely unregulated.

Buying CBD online is a suitable option for most consumers. When you buy CBD online directly from the brand, you get better oversight of the brand’s manufacturing practices. Looking at the brand’s hemp source and lab testing procedures can help ensure that the CBD products you choose are clean, potent, and meet legal guidelines.

Buying CBD directly from a brand instead of from a third-party market may also be less costly since you won’t have to pay the extra fees that are often tacked on by the middle man. Of course, premium CBD can be expensive to manufacture, so you should also be wary of products that offer low-ball prices.

Finally, buying CBD online may be the best way to access many different types of CBD. The most common type of CBD product is an oil tincture, but you can find a variety of CBD edibles, topicals, and other specialty products when you shop online.

For more information on how to find high-quality CBD products, check out our CBD Buyer’s Guide.

How old to buy CBD in Georgia?

The legal age to buy CBD is fuzzy, even when looking at federal regulations. In theory, CBD should be accessible to people of all ages, especially since it gained its popularity as a treatment for various childhood illnesses. The state of Georgia has passed legislation to make CBD accessible to children with certain qualifying conditions, though this type of access requires a doctor’s guidance.

In Georgia, there are no statewide regulations regarding the legal age to buy CBD. Instead, these laws may vary by jurisdiction and are more heavily impacted by the seller. Since the legal age for tobacco products has been raised to 21, many smoke shops may require users to be 21.

Many CBD brands allow customers who are 18 or older to order online and will ship legal CBD products to Georgia.

Is CBD legal in all 50 states?

Thanks to federal updates, CBD has the potential to be legal in every U.S. state. Georgia does not prohibit the use of CBD for consumers, but every state has different regulations regarding the manufacture and sale of CBD. Click here to find out where CBD is legal.

Resources

  1. “H.R.5485 - Hemp Farming Act of 2018” https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5485
  2. “Haliegh’s Hope Act” http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20152016/145148.pdf
  3. “HB 213” http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20192020/HB/213
  4. “CBD Oil Still Unlawful as Food Additive in Georgia” http://agr.georgia.gov/cbd-oil-still-unlawful-as-a-food-additive-in-georgia.aspx

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