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Medical marijuana in Georgia: the basics

by | Sep 13, 2017 | Blog, Firm News

Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill into law this May that expanded the states medical marijuana program. Senate Bill 16 broadens the list of qualifying medical conditions now eligible for treatment.

Who can get a prescription?

The law allows doctors to prescribe medical cannabis oil to patients suffering from serious or life-threatening illnesses including cancer, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, Tourette’s syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ALS, seizures, multiple sclerosis, neuropathies, spinal cord damage, sickle cell anemia and other specified conditions.

How do you get it? Where does it come from?

This is where things get tricky. Georgia does not have state run dispensaries nor do they address where patients can get access to the medicine. In fact, the sale and distribution of cannabis remains illegal in Georgia. However, patients who have a prescription for medical cannabis oil and meet the legal conditions are exempt from prosecution.

It’s common for patients to order their medicine from a creditable manufacturer in a state where producing cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes is legal.

What’s the largest amount of oil you can legally possess?

Patients are allowed to possess no more than 20 fluid ounces of low THC oil at a given time.

What does Georgia consider “low THC?”

Georgia law requires that oil obtained by patients contain no more than five percent THC. The oil also must contain cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD. The measure of CBD must be at least equal to the amount of THC.

What other legalities do you need to be aware of?

The legal parameters surrounding the use of medical marijuana are to be met with great caution. In addition to the requirements listed above, you must also meet the following legal conditions to qualify for exempt status:

  • Register with the Georgia Department of Public Health
  • Have your registration card (medical marijuana card) on you when in possession of oil
  • The oil must be stored in its pharmaceutical container with a label that explicitly states the percentage of THC within

Are patients who use medical cannabis allowed to drive?

Georgia has a zero tolerance policy. Patients who drive with any amount of THC in their blood could face Per Se DUI charges. Due to this strict standard and the fact that THC levels often linger for days after cannabis use, some patients may never be legal to drive.