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Wednesday, August 22, 2018
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Georgia Marijuana Laws

Georgia may be known as the Peach State, but its marijuana laws aren’t so peachy.  Georgia allows medicinal use of the drug as long as it’s low in THC and high in CBD. While possession for any other use remains illegal, some localities have decriminalization measures in place, replacing criminal penalties with civil fines.

Georgia Marijuana Attorneys

The following Georgia lawyers are actively involved in the practice of cannabis law:

LAW BREAKDOWN

Marijuana is illegal in Georgia for all but limited medical uses. The state’s new medical cannabis law will allow the use of CBD oil for severe seizure disorders, but full medicinal marijuana is not yet legal.

Possession

Simple possession of less than an ounce of cannabis is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. Possession of more than an ounce is a felony punishable by at least one year in jail, as many as 10 years in prison, and $5,000 in fines.

When it is deemed that marijuana is possessed with intent to distribute, the offense is a felony, and the term of incarceration depends on the amount involved. See ‘Sale or Delivery’ below.

Sale or Delivery

Any sale or delivery of non-medical marijuana to another person is a felony in Georgia. If the amount is less than 10 pounds, the penalty is a minimum sentence of one year in jail, a maximum of 10 years in prison, and $5,000 in fines.

Sale or delivery of between 10 pounds and 20,000 pounds is punishable by between 5 and 30 years in prison, plus a maximum $100,000 fine. The penalties for sale or delivery of between 2,000 and 10,000 pounds is between seven and 30 years in prison, plus $250,000 in potential fines. If the amount is greater than 10,000 pounds, the sentence will include a minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30, along with top fines of $1 million.

Finally, the sale or delivery of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, park, or public housing project, or in a drug-free zone is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000 on a first offense. A subsequent offense is punishable by between five and 40 years in prison, and a fine of up to $40,000.

Cultivation

Any cultivation or manufacture of cannabis is a felony in Georgia. For small amounts, less than 10 pounds, the penalty includes a minimum of one year in jail and a maximum of 10 years in prison, plus $5,000 in fines.

For amounts between 10 pounds and 2,000 pounds, the minimum prison sentence is five years while the maximum is 30 years, and fines can reach $100,000. Cultivation of between 2,000 and 10,000 pounds is punishable by between seven and 30 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

Growing more than 10,000 pounds of marijuana, meanwhile, is punishable by between 15 and 30 years in prison and a maximum $1 million fine. It is also a felony, punishable by between five and 40 years in prison, plus $40,000 in fines, to cultivate cannabis within 1,000 feet of a school, park, or public housing project, or in a drug-free zone.

Hash and Marijuana Concentrates

Hashish and concentrates are treated more harshly than regular marijuana: Possession of any amount is a felony with a minimum penalty of one year in jail and a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Making hash or other concentrates is also a felony, as is sale and possession with intent to deliver. That offense carries a sentence of between five and 30 years in prison on a first offense, plus $5,000 in fines. All penalties for concentrates increase on subsequent convictions.

Paraphernalia

Possession, use and sale of marijuana paraphernalia are all crimes in Georgia. Paraphernalia includes all drug-related items, including those used in the cultivation, growing, harvesting, analysis, testing, enhancing, storage, or use of marijuana.

Possession and use. Possession of cannabis paraphernalia is a misdemeanor in Georgia unless the items are intended strictly for use with legal substances. The maximum penalty is one year in jail and $1,000 in fines.

Sale and delivery.  Sale or possession with intent to sell is also a misdemeanor, and the penalty for a first offense is up to one year imprisonment and $1,000 in fines. On a second offense, the maximum fine increases to $5,000. Any subsequent offense is a felony punishable by between one and five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.

Miscellaneous

Growing or abandoning marijuana in a public place is also a misdemeanor and carries the same potential penalties. Any cannabis offense involving a minor is a felony punishable by at least five and as many as 20 years in prison, plus a $20,000 fine.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Georgia became the 13th state to legalize the use of CBD oil when it was signed into law in 2015. Qualifying patients will have access to this form of marijuana extract to treat a long list of debilitating conditions.

Qualifying conditions – AIDS/HIV, Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Autism, Cancer, Crohn’s Disease, Hospice care patients, Intractable pain, Mitochondrial disease, Multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Severe and end-stage Peripheral neuropathy, Seizure disorder, Sickle cell disorder, and Tourette’s syndrome.

Patient possession limits – 20 ounces of infused cannabis oils containing no more than 5 percent THC, and the amount of CBD must be equal to or greater than the amount of THC.

Home cultivation – No

State-licensed dispensaries – No

Caregivers – No

Reciprocity – No

PENALTIES

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine

Possession

Personal Use

1 oz or less Misdemeanor 1 year $ 1,000
More than 1 oz Felony 1* – 10 years $ 5,000

With intent to distribute

10 lbs or less Felony 1* – 10 years $ 5,000
10 – 2000 lbs Felony 5* – 30 years $ 100,000
2000 – 10,000 lbs Felony 7* – 30 years $ 250,000
More than 10,000 lbs Felony 15* – 30 years $ 1,000,000
Within 1,000 feet of school grounds, a park, or a housing project, or in a drug free zone Felony 5* – 40 years $ 40,000
*Mandatory Minimum Sentence

Sale or Delivery

10 lbs or less Felony 1* – 10 years $ 5,000
10 – 2000 lbs Felony 5* – 30 years $ 100,000
2000 – 10,000 lbs Felony 7* – 30 years $ 250,000
More than 10,000 lbs Felony 15* – 30 years $ 1,000,000
Within 1,000 feet of school grounds, a park, or a housing project, or in a drug free zone Felony 5* – 40 years $ 40,000
*Mandatory Minimum Sentence

Cultivation

10 lbs or less Felony 1* – 10 years $ 5,000
10 – 2000 lbs Felony 5* – 30 years $ 100,000
2000 – 10,000 lbs Felony 7* – 30 years $ 250,000
More than 10,000 lbs Felony 15* – 30 years $ 1,000,000
Within 1,000 feet of school grounds, a park, or a housing project, or in a drug free zone Felony 5* – 40 years $ 40,000
*Mandatory Minimum Sentence

Hash & Concentrates

Possession of less than 1 g (solid substance) or less than 1 ml (liquid substance) Felony 1* – 3 years $ 5,000
Possession of 1 g – less than 4 g (solid substance) or 1 ml – less than 4 ml (liquid substance) Felony 1* – 8 years $ 5,000
Possession Felony 1* – 15 years $ 5,000
Manufacturing, distributing, selling, or possessing with the intent to distribute Felony 5* – 30 years $ 5,000
*Mandatory Minimum Sentence
Subsequent offenses carry stricter penalties.

Paraphernalia

Possession or sale of paraphernalia misdemeanor 1 year $ 1,000
Second and third offenses carry additional penalties and fines.

Forfeiture

Vehicles and other property may be seized.

Miscellaneous

Abandoning marijuana in a public place Misdemeanor 1 year $ 1,000
Involving a minor Felony 5 – 20 years $ 20,000
Distribution of marijuana flavored product Misdemeanor N/A $ 500
Use of any communications facility Felony 1 – 4 years $ 30,000
Any conviction of a marijuana possession, sale, or cultivation offense results in suspension of driving license.