Is Weed Legal in Georgia? GA Cannabis Laws (May 2023)
Georgia has one of the harshest marijuana laws in the U.S.
The Georgian state regulations go in line with federal law that imposes heavy penalties for the possession of even small amounts of marijuana for personal use.
The state has recently made some small progress, allowing low-THC cannabis oils to be purchased by patients with debilitating health conditions.
Individual cities have also decriminalized small amounts of marijuana.
But buying weed legally isn’t an option in Georgia.
Does that mean your hands are completely tied if you want to enjoy the effects of psychoactive cannabinoids?
Ever heard of delta 8 THC?
Let’s explore your options.
Is Marijuana Legal in Georgia?
Georgia follows federal law to the letter when it comes to marijuana regulations. While the state has a humble medical marijuana program, recreational use remains illegal and heavily punished.
Related: States Where Weed Is Illegal
Is Recreational Marijuana Legal in Georgia?
No, marijuana remains illegal in Georgia for adult use. Possession of even small amounts of cannabis is punishable by prison time and fines.
Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Georgia?
Georgia has a scarce medical marijuana program for people with debilitating diseases. The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and Georgia Composite Medical Board oversee the patient registry for the program.
Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Georgia
Possession of 1 ounce or less is a misdemeanor punishable by a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Is Marijuana Decriminalized in Georgia?
In Atlanta, Savannah, and a few other cities, possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana has been decriminalized, with financial penalties ranging between $75 and $300.
What’s the Future of Cannabis Legalization in Georgia?
Legalization bills are pending for the upcoming election to legalize the use, possession, and retail sale of marijuana for adults in Georgia.
SB 263 will regulate the commercial marijuana market in the state, allowing adults to legally buy up to a quarter ounce of cannabis from licensed dispensaries.
Delta 8 THC: A Better and Legal Alternative to Marijuana in Georgia
Marijuana is heavily restricted in Georgia, and nothing seems to be changing any time soon.
High-THC cannabis is also federally illegal, so you can’t buy it from one state and have it delivered to your house.
However, thanks to recent extraction breakthroughs, a new-ish cannabinoid has entered the market. It’s about half as strong as delta 9 from marijuana, and better yet — you can legally buy it in Georgia.
It’s called delta 8 THC.
Delta 8 THC vs. Delta 9 THC
The THC molecule has many different versions, including delta 9 and delta 8.
At first glance, they have a similar molecular structure, but they’re subtly different in the way their atomic bonds are arranged.
For delta 8 THC, the atomic bond occurs at the 8th carbon chain, whereas for delta 9, it’s at the 9th chain.
This subtle difference causes delta 8 THC to lose some potency. Delta 8 is about 50% as potent as delta 9 THC from marijuana.
Cons of Delta 9 THC from Marijuana
Delta 9 THC is the primary intoxicating ingredient in marijuana. Most people can enjoy the high without any unpleasant side effects.
The effect profile of delta 9 is dose-dependent. Low and moderate doses are relaxing, soothing, ease pain, and improve cognitive performance. Higher doses can get you high, altering your way of thinking, boosting your appetite, elevating your mood, and changing your perception of time.
However, for certain individuals, delta 9 THC might not be the best choice. Sensitive cannabis users can get their cannabinoid receptors in the brain easily overstimulated with high levels of delta 9.
The side effects of taking too much THC include:
- Increased heart rate
- Problems with coordination
- Short-term memory impairment
That’s why delta 8 THC is making waves in the cannabis community.
Effects and Benefits of Delta 8 THC
Since delta 8 THC is less potent than marijuana, the high is also more clear-headed and carries a lower risk of paranoia and anxiety. People report feeling a wave of calm and relaxation followed by creative energy and elevated mood. Depending on the cannabinoid and terpene ratio in the product, the effects lean toward energizing or sedating.
People use delta 8 THC for the following benefits:
- Pain relief
- Increased appetite
- Feelings of calmness and relaxation
While delta 9 THC is synthesized only by marijuana plants, delta 8 can be extracted from hemp by converting CBD with heavy metal reagents and acids.
Is Delta 8 THC Legal in Georgia?
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and all its derivatives, including cannabinoids, terpenes, salts, and isomers as long as the final product contains no more than 0.3% delta 9 THC.
At the federal level, the possession, production, and distribution of hemp-derived delta 8 THC is legal. You can purchase it locally or from online stores.
Benefits of Buying Delta 8 THC Online in Georgia
Delta 8 THC is a dynamic space, with no regulations regarding the quality and safety of these products. This, in turn, creates space for scam delta 8 companies that offer cheap, untested delta 8 THC products.
You need to carefully vet your potential vendors before you trust them with your money.
Verifying the quality of any delta 8 product is easy and involves:
- Reading certificates of analysis (CoAs)
- Combing through customer reviews
- Reaching out to other users on forms and social media platforms
- Reading the company’s “About Us” page
However, the above are difficult to check when you shop for delta 8 in your neighborhood. That’s why we recommend finding a trustworthy online retailer if you’re looking for the best price deals on high-quality products.
Best Online Delta 8 THC Vendors
The delta 8 THC space is unregulated, so there’s a large discrepancy between the quality of different products. There are shockingly large numbers of low-quality extracts contaminated with pesticides, solvents, bleaches, and other toxic chemicals.
Some of them also have significantly more delta 9 THC than legally approved.
If you don’t have time to vet your potential companies, here you’ll find our top two favorite online brands that make top-shelf extracts at reasonable prices.
Both companies triple-test their products for potency and purity in third-party laboratories to ensure safety.
1. Area 52
Get 15% off all Area 52 products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.
Area 52 comes from Nevada and specializes in premium cannabinoid-based extracts that boast an exceptionally high terpene content. Recently, the brand has shifted its focus to delta 8 distillates, which it makes from organic hemp farms in Colorado and Kentucky.
These products are extracted without the use of dangerous solvents and harsh acids. The conversion process from CBD is run by highly qualified lab workers to ensure the maximum purity of the final formulas.
You can choose from traditional forms of delta 8 THC, such as gummies, tinctures, and vape pens. These are high-potency products, so make sure you know your tolerance and follow the instructions on the labels if this is your first time with delta 8.
2. Finest Labs
Finest Labs is a relatively new brand that offers a great product range for beginners and occasional users who take lower doses of delta 8 THC in their routine. The company offers the same product types as Area 52 — tinctures, gummies, and vapes — but in lower potencies.
Lower strength means a lower cost per product, making Finest Labs a decent choice for those with a lower budget.
And if you’re into making your own cannabinoid blends, Finest Labs offers a broad range of botanical terpenes available as single molecules and special mixes.
Who Can Use Medical Marijuana in Georgia?
You can purchase and use medical marijuana if you have one of the following conditions:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Autism spectrum disorder
- 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
Most of these conditions must be severe and/or end-stage. Patients can obtain a registry card with a doctor’s recommendation and a $25 fee. Doctors must fill out two forms. Cards are usually ready to pick up within 15 business days from a public health office.
The state is in the middle of establishing a seed-to-sale system, so patients can’t yet buy low-THC oil.
Can You Grow Marijuana in Georgia?
No, growing marijuana is illegal in Georgia. If the police find any marijuana plants in your house, it will be treated as possession. Your charges vary depending on the number of plants and the amount of dried marijuana you’re caught with
Can You Buy Weed Online in Georgia?
No, you can’t legally buy marijuana online in Georgia because marijuana is illegal for recreational use there.
While there are some alleged cannabis vendors lurking on social media, buying weed from such people is dangerous on many levels.
First, you don’t know what you’re buying. Black market cannabis isn’t tested for pesticides and heavy metals. Did you know that over 90% of seized marijuana plants from black market farms in California were contaminated with dangerous levels of these toxins?
Then, of course, there’s the law. As mentioned, cannabis possession in Georgia is illegal and heavily punished, so you don’t want to risk your freedom for the sake of smoking some substandard weed.
Traveling with Marijuana in Georgia
Recreational users can’t travel with marijuana. If you’re caught driving with weed in Georgia, you risk a 1-year prison sentence and a fine of $1,000 — unless you live in Atlanta, Savannah, and other cities that decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use.
Traveling with marijuana from Georgia to another state is a federal felony. Trafficking less than 50 kilograms or less than 50 plants is punishable by up to 5 years in jail for a first offense and a maximum of $250,000 in fines.
Can You Smoke Marijuana in Public?
No, smoking marijuana in public is illegal in Georgia. Even if you’re a medical marijuana patient, you can only carry low-THC oil (up to 5%); the state law doesn’t allow smokable forms of marijuana.
Is CBD Oil from Hemp Legal in Georgia?
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp by removing it from the list of controlled substances. Today, hemp plants are an agricultural commodity that can be grown for any use, including clothes, paper, biofuel, construction materials, food, and health supplements such as CBD oil.
You can legally buy CBD oil without a prescription in Georgia. The state is home to a myriad of hemp stores that offer CBD supplements, but since the market isn’t regulated, your best bet for finding high-quality products without breaking the bank is to order from a reputable online store.
Key Takeaways on Marijuana Legal Status in Georgia.
Georgia isn’t the best state to live as a marijuana enthusiast. Although several cities have decriminalized the possession of small amounts for personal use, there’s nowhere you could legally buy weed.
Even if you’re a medical marijuana patient, you’re legally allowed to carry low-THC cannabis oil, and worse yet, the state doesn’t have any distribution network for such products, leaving patients in limbo.
The only way to legally enjoy psychoactive cannabinoids in Georgia is to buy hemp-derived delta 8 products. Delta 8 THC is legal at the federal level and comes with about 50% of the potency of delta 9 from marijuana.