HomeNewsGeorgia's Hemp-Derived Cannabinoid Crackdown Nears

Georgia’s Hemp-Derived Cannabinoid Crackdown Nears

A bill tightening up the availability and nature of hemp derived cannabinoid products in Georgia has made its way to Governor Brian Kemp’s desk for his signature.

Back in 2019, Governor Kemp signed House Bill 324 into law that set the wheels in motion for the regulated licensing of in-state cultivation, production, manufacturing, and sale of low-THC oil. But it wasn’t until last year when Georgia’s medical cannabis program finally launched.

In the lead-up and like many other states, Georgia had been grappling with the wide availability of hemp-derived cannabinoid products exploiting loopholes in federal and local law. This was complicated by a ruling in 2023 from Georgia’s Court of Appeals that edibles containing delta-8 and delta-10 THC aren’t controlled substances.

A couple of pieces of legislation dealing with consumable hemp products were introduced early this year – Senator Randy Robertson’s SB 437 and Representative Clay Pirkle’s HB 1127. But it’s a third bill that may see prime time, assuming Governor Kemp signs it.

Among its contents, SB 494 will see sales of hemp-derived cannabinoid products – defined as products intended to be ingested, absorbed, or inhaled -. to anyone younger than 21 banned. This not only includes hemp-derived intoxicating cannabinoids such as delta-8, but also cannabidiol (CBD).

Furthermore, no consumable hemp product can be sold or otherwise distributed unless the product is packaged in a container that is not attractive to children, and doesn’t bear any reasonable resemblance to an existing widely distributed candy, snack or other food. Additionally, no consumable hemp product can be sold or otherwise distributed if it constitutes or is a component of a food product or an alcoholic beverage. There is an exception for gummies or consumable base oils; assuming these are not a component of a food product.

SB 494 also addresses rules around licencing and disqualifications, certificates of analysis, inspection and testing, other packaging requirements, retail establishment operations, signage and more.

Whether Governor Kemp signs off on SB 494 remains to be seen; but he has been keen to get on top of the situation in his state.

Terry Lassitenaz
Terry Lassitenaz writes exclusively for Hemp Gazette and has done so since the site launched in 2015. He has a special interest in the political arena relating to medical cannabis, particularly in Australia, and addressing the many myths surrounding this incredibly useful plant. You can contact Terry here.

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