can i grow marijuana in georgia

Marijuana Cultivation Laws.

Marijuana cultivation laws vary from state to state but each state has one thing in common: the penalties for conviction are severe! So no matter where you live, make sure you immediately contact an experienced marijuana defense attorney if you have recently been charged with marijuana cultivation.

Cultivation and Drug Trafficking.

Georgia’s marijuana cultivation laws make it illegal for you to grow and possess certain plants or other organic materials that are used to produce marijuana. This means that if you are found with cannabis seeds, grow lighting systems, or marijuana plants, you will be charged with marijuana cultivation.

Benefits of an Attorney.

As you can see, the penalties for marijuana cultivation in Georgia are life changing. Not only is your freedom at stake, your bank account can be cleaned out and you will lose your driving privileges. You need an experienced drug-offense attorney on your side at a critical time like this.

Not everyone charged with marijuana cultivation has a field of pot plants growing in their backyard. In fact, you don’t even have to have any plants growing to be charged with this crime. Simply possessing the organic materials can lead to a marijuana cultivation charge. For example, it is illegal to own cannabis seeds or the lighting systems that can be used to grow marijuana plants indoors.

Georgia in particular has some tough penalties when it comes to drug trafficking—at least five years in prison and a $100,000 minimum fine for having between 50 and 2,000 pounds of marijuana. In addition to the amount of marijuana you were found with, the prosecution will also slap you with enhanced penalties if you were found growing marijuana near a school or other drug-free zones.

Depending on your state’s laws and how much marijuana you were found to be allegedly cultivating, you could also be facing an additional charge: drug trafficking. For example, in Georgia, if you are found with more than 50 pounds of marijuana plants, you can be slapped with a drug trafficking charge.

In Georgia, it is against the law to possess, distribute, or grow marijuana. The charges for these crimes are serious and the penalties include jail time, probation, prison, and expensive fines. In addition to these consequences, your driver’s license will be suspended even if you are not driving a vehicle at the time of your arrest. This is why you’ll especially want to have a qualified Georgia defense attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

If you want to avoid a lengthy prison sentence, insanely steep fines and other life-changing penalties, be sure to contact a defense attorney. It is important to work with an attorney that specializes in this complex area of law in Georgia. They are the ones that are current on the most recent law changes and know the best possible defenses for marijuana cultivation.

In April of 2019, Gov. Brian Kemp signed House Bill 324 that created a limited marijuana industry allowing companies to grow, manufacture and sell medical-grade cannabis oil as products to pharmacies that will be licensed by the State Pharmacy Board to distribute these products to the state’s growing number of registered medical marijuana users. Since 2015 the state has allowed people suffering from certain illnesses and chronic pain to possess cannabis oil, but until now it prohibited buying, selling or transporting these products. The state still prohibits smoking or vaping marijuana products.

TheraTrue representatives suggested the Louisville plant would employ 60 people in direct local positions at the facility, growing and cultivating the plants indoors and processing medical cannabis oil from them. This is only part of the expected 358 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the region that would likely support TheraTrue operations. In all, the plant is expected to lead to $14 million in wages and economic impact annually and just over $1 million in annual sales and property taxes.

“Our team is focused on using science and innovation to implement a world-class medical cannabis company,” TheraTrue founder Dr. Paul Judge said at that time. “We are committed to prioritizing safety and security as we work diligently to obtain a license that will allow us to provide Georgians suffering from chronic medical conditions with a much-needed treatment option.”

TheraTrue received letters of support from the Jefferson County Commission, Development Authority and the City of Louisville.

“Jefferson County is extremely excited about the opportunity to be part of Georgia’s new medical cannabis industry,” County Commission Chairman Mitchell McGraw wrote in a letter to this paper dated April 17, 2021. “This new industry could make a deep impact in our local economy and we are happy to be working with TheraTrue to help make that happen.”

Jefferson County Development Authority’s Executive Director Greg Sellars has said that where many companies looking to locate in rural Georgia seek incentives such as local tax abatement, TheraTrue only asked for support. Any financial incentives it would receive would come from the state for locating in a rural, economically depressed area, not from local government.

Two other companies, Trulieve GA Inc and Botanical Sciences LLC, won licenses to cultivate the oil on 100,000 square-foot indoor growing spaces.

In the fall of 2019, TheraTrue representatives met with community representatives throughout Jefferson County to explain their intentions and seek support. They announced then that they had an option on the 75,000-square-foot former Cadet Manufacturing building located near Louisville’s airport.

TheraTrue Georgia LLC is one of four companies that will be licensed to operate facilities with 50,000 square feet of growing room. The others are FFD GA Holdings, Natures GA LLC and Trevana Remedy Inc.

The facilities these companies create will grow the plants indoors, extract cannabis oil and manufacture prescription-grade products in the forms of pills, creams, trans-dermal patches and oils that are not permitted to contain more than 5 percent THC, the chemical that produces the euphoric high sought by recreational users of marijuana.

TheraTrue Georgia LLC, a company with eyes to convert a former Louisville, Georgia, textile plant into a medical marijuana growing and processing facility, is one of six such companies the state’s Medical Cannabis Commission approved for licensure during a long-awaited meeting Saturday, July 24.

The unanimous decision by the board has long been anticipated by the 15,000 or so Georgians who have been authorized since 2015 to use medical marijuana oil to treat conditions including seizure disorders, Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain and terminal cancers, but have not had a legal way to obtain these medications.

Once the licenses are officially issued each of the six companies will have one year to begin operations.

Although the law took effect in July 2019, the seven members of the commission given the task of overseeing the program weren’t appointed until last November.

The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission voted Monday to release a Request for Proposals that will lead to the granting of two “Class 1” licenses and four “Class 2” licenses to grow marijuana indoors and manufacture the oil derived from the plants.

The RFP is based on input from the state attorney general’s office and the Georgia Department of Administrative Services.

ATLANTA — The state panel in charge of Georgia’s medical marijuana program is opening the search for businesses interested in growing the leaf crop and converting it into cannabis oil.

The 2019 bill was a follow-up to legislation the General Assembly passed in 2015 that legalized possession of low-THC cannabis oil in Georgia by patients suffering from certain diseases enrolled in a registry overseen by the state Department of Public Health.

Patients eligible to receive cannabis oil with a doctor’s prescription include those suffering from a wide range of diseases, including seizure disorders and Parkinson’s.

The process of developing the RFP has been “tedious,” Dr. Christopher Edwards, principal surgeon at the Atlanta Neurological & Spine Institute and the commission’s chairman, said Monday.

“We just want to keep the patients in the forefront,” Edwards said. “The longer this process goes on, the longer it takes patients to get help.”

Under the medical cannabis legislation, businesses granted Class 1 licenses will be able to grow marijuana in up to 100,000 square feet of space. Class 2 licensees will be limited to no more than 50,000 square feet.

Starting the licensing process is a major step forward for a program that has been slow to get off the ground since the General Assembly passed legislation in April of last year legalizing the cultivation of marijuana in Georgia, conversion of the leaf into cannabis oil and the sale of the drug to eligible patients.

Lawmakers acted after it became apparent that the first law left Georgians with no legal way of obtaining cannabis oil even though they were allowed to possess the drug.

Commission Executive Director Andrew Turnage, appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp last May, said the DOAS is expected to post the RFP on the Georgia Procurement Registry by Wednesday.