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What you need to know about cannabis in Georgia

Published Apr 14, 2023 09:00 a.m. ET
Unsplash / Alexander Grey

House Bill 324 officially passed in April 2019, effectively legalizing certain types of medical cannabis products, but only for those with a prescription. Here we’ll cover all of the most important things you need to know about cannabis in Georgia, from where it can be obtained, to how much can be carried, and more.

Growing cannabis in Georgia

The cultivation of cannabis for recreational use is still illegal under Georgia law. However, medical patients here may apply to a state-run medical cannabis program to access certain types of cannabis for therapeutic purposes, all of which much be low in THC. Unfortunately due to strict regulations only licensed cannabis producers may grow cannabis for medical use, so you won’t find any legal private home grows or suppliers in this state.

Possession of cannabis in Georgia

In Georgia, it is still illegal to possess cannabis for purely recreational purposes. Anyone caught with under one ounce may face legal consequences ranging from a fine that could be as much as $1000, or up to 12 months imprisonment though this small amount is merely a misdemeanor. Those who are found to have more than one ounce of cannabis in their possession are likely to receive an even harsher punishment as then it becomes a felony offense carrying a prison sentence that could be anywhere from a few months to 10 years.

Minimum age for cannabis use in Georgia

The minimum age to buy cannabis in Georgia is 21 years old. Even reasonable recommendations from healthcare providers cannot legally provide exemptions from this age limit.

Buying limits for cannabis in Georgia

There are no buying limits in place to restrict medical cannabis patients in Georgia, but only those who are registered with the state-regulated medical program may purchase cannabis. Unfortunately, it is still illegal to buy or sell cannabis for personal or recreational purposes.

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Public consumption of cannabis in Georgia

Medical cannabis patients may purchase cannabis in this state, but they are not allowed to consume it in public spaces, including but not limited to parks, sidewalks, inside vehicles, or on patios. It is also prohibited anywhere else smoking tobacco is banned.

Medical licenses for cannabis in Georgia

Georgia is home to one of the most restrictive medical cannabis programs in the United States, as it only allows patients to purchase certain types of cannabis products all of which must be low in THC. To qualify to register for the program, patients must have a medical cannabis card which may only be provided by certified physicians who are also registered with Georgia’s medical cannabis program.

Border rules for cannabis in Georgia

Though cannabis may be legal in certain cases in Georgia, it is still illegal to bring it with you across state lines, and that is true even if you hold a valid medical card. Some travelers assume that as long as they’re going to another cannabis-friendly state, their stash should be ok but that is not the case. Since it remains a prohibited substance federally, crossing any border within the United States with cannabis in your possession is illegal.

The laws surrounding cannabis in Georgia are still very strict, but at least patients here can access the products they really need to live a better quality of life.

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