Georgia Marijuana Laws

State marijuana laws vary quite a bit from one another, and change quite frequently. While Georgia traditionally has had quite strict laws regarding the use of cannabis, the Peach State allows the very limited use of the herb. House Bill 1, also known as the "Haleigh's Hope Act," permits eligible patients to possess cannabis oil with a low percentage of THC (which produces the "high"). This is subject to change, as this area of law and regulation continues to evolve.

Here’s a look at the current state of Georgia marijuana laws.

Marijuana Under Georgia Law

The possession, sale, trafficking, and cultivation of marijuana is illegal in most states, although a few states tightly regulate its recreational use (with varying approaches to retail sales and home cultivation). However, roughly half of all states allow the medicinal use of cannabis. Georgia marijuana laws are relatively strict, but many counties in the state offer alternative sentencing programs for offenders, which offer treatment in lieu of jail time. Possession of more than 1 ounce of marijuana is a felony in Georgia, punishable by one to 10 years in prison.

The city of Savannah decriminalized the possession of marijuana, effective July 1, 2018. This means that first-time offenders will be issued an infraction (like a speeding ticket) instead of jail, with a maximum fine of $150. Those unable to pay may perform community service instead.

Georgia Marijuana Statutes

Understanding what law applies and what the law says is often key in answering a legal question. However, when you're not paid by the hour to sift through legalese, it helps to have a helpful explanation of the law up front. The following chart provides key information pertaining to Georgia's marijuana laws.

Statute(s)

Section 16-13-30, et seq.

Possession Penalties

  • 1 oz or Less: Misdemeanor, 1 yr. or $1,000 fine
  • Between 1 oz and 10 lbs.: Felony, 1-10 yrs.
  • Over 10 lbs: This is considered trafficking (see below)

Sale or Trafficking Penalties

  • 10 lbs or Less: Felony, 1-10 yrs
  • 10-2000 lbs.: Fellony, 5 yrs. and mandatory $100,000 fine
  • 2000-10,000 lbs.: 7 yrs. and mandatory $250,000 fine
  • Over 10,000 lbs.: 15 yrs. and mandatory $1,000,000 fine

Medical Marijuana

Eligible patients may possess up to 20 ounces of low-THC (high-CBD) cannabis oil; possession of the whole plant is not allowed, nor is cultivation. Although low-TCH cannabis oil is legal in the state, it is not clear how it should be obtained.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Despite what another state’s marijuana laws says, marijuana possession and sale remains illegal under a federal law known as the Controlled Substance Act. Federal law always trumps if there is a conflict between state and federal law. While federal law enforcement agencies have not interfered with most states’ handling of certain marijuana cases, the federal government still has the authority to enforce restrictions on everything from the manufacturing and cultivation to the trafficking and distribution, as well as the possession of marijuana. You can also access more general information in FindLaw’s drug charges section.

Facing Marijuana Charges in Georgia? Get an Attorney's Help Today

Every state handles drug laws differently and enforcement of a drug case can vary depending on your specific circumstances and location. With the fluctuating state of marijuana laws, both in Georgia and in other jurisdictions, it's wise to seek legal counsel if you've been arrested for a marijuana-related crime. Start the process today by getting in touch with a Georgia drug crimes attorney.

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