Updated on May 11, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Certain states that outlaw medical marijuana have CBD programs instead. These programs allow medicine containing the cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD). Some lawmakers who stand against medical marijuana do not have the same opinion about CBD. Since CBD does not cause psychoactive effects on its own, they don’t consider it as “risky” as marijuana.
Georgia has a CBD program that lets some patients use marijuana-derived CBD. Georgia’s medical marijuana law allows certain qualified persons to legally possess up to 20 fluid ounces of “low THC oil,” which is derived from the marijuana plant. It authorizes the Georgia Department of Public Health to issue a “Low THC Oil Registry Card” to qualified persons, which will prove that they are authorized to have the oil and protect them from arrest.
Georgia law allows patients to own and use cannabis oil with less than 5 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), known as low-THC oil. The oil must have at least the same percentage of CBD as it does THC to stay legal. A patient may have up to 20 ounces of oil at one time.
CBD legalization in Georgia first began in 2015, when lawmakers passed Haleigh’s Hope Act. This law established the first eligible conditions and the definition of low-THC oil. In 2017, SB 65 doubled the list of ailments that qualify under the program. It also removed a one-year residency requirement and allowed certain out-of-state patients to have low-THC oil.
State laws do not have provisions for selling, making or delivering low-THC oil, but registered patients cannot technically obtain medicine legally. Georgia does not ban hemp-derived CBD oil sales, however. So, many patients avoid registering and buy hemp-based products.
Under Georgia CBD laws, patients with these conditions can use low-THC oil:
The state treats qualification for low-THC oil the same way legal states handle medical marijuana. They require a full registration process that grants the patient a special ID. If the patient has a caregiver, they must also apply for a card. Signing up for the state registry costs $25, and the registration cards stay valid for two years.
Out-of-state patients who have medical marijuana cards from their home states may also own and use low-THC oil. They cannot have any other kind of cannabis medicine while staying in Georgia.
In a state like Georgia that doesn’t permit cannabis medicine, patients at least have one option when they can use CBD. Georgia’s current laws may have many limits. However, they also protect patients who already have low-THC oil. Register for our newsletter to learn if Georgia gives patients more liberty in the future.