Following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, THC products (and their derivatives) are legal nationwide, provided they are sourced from hemp and contain no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC by dry weight. When it comes to individual states, however, the rules may vary, and some consumers may wonder whether THCa is legal in Georgia or any other state.
In Georgia, the same rules as the 2018 Farm Bill apply following the passage of House Bill 213, the Georgia Hemp Farming Act. Delta-9 THC products and other THC-containing products created from industrial hemp are legal in Georgia per this law. Like the national rules, “industrial hemp” means the plant or product contains no more than 0.3% THC per dry weight.
Those who need more THC in their cannabis products for medical purposes can qualify for Georgia’s medical marijuana program, provided they meet specific criteria. Those who are 21 and older and receive a recommendation for marijuana use for a qualifying condition may purchase delta-9 THC and other THC products with up to 5% content. Recreational cannabis is illegal in Georgia, and the shipment of any THCa products from outside Georgia’s borders is prohibited.
Read on to learn the details of Georgia’s marijuana laws and what the latest regulations say about THCa.
- THCa is federally legal and legal in Georgia if the product comes from hemp and has less than 0.3% THC per dry weight.
- Hemp-derived THCa and weed-derived THCa are the same chemical compound.
- Georgia’s medical marijuana program allows qualifying patients to purchase legal THC and THCa products up to 5% potency.
What is THCa?
THCa is a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid found in both the cannabis plant and hemp. It’s the chemical precursor of the better-known delta-9 THC, responsible for producing marijuana’s signature intoxication.
When exposed to high temperatures (a process known as decarboxylation), THCa burns off the acidic component and transforms into THC. THCa can also convert to the psychoactive delta-9 THC by:
- Room temperature exposure
- Heat exposure via flame or vaporizing
- Sunlight exposure
Besides its status as delta-9's precursor, however, research suggests that THCa has many benefits in its own right.
A 2017 study exploring potential medical uses for THCa showed its promising ability to soothe seizures and chronic pain. While the research is still young, scientists are excited about the potential of this underexamined compound in cannabis.
The hemp plant, a variety of cannabis, contains very low levels of THCa compared to the marijuana plant bred explicitly for such potency. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations, hemp is cultivated for agricultural or industrial use and may contain no more than 0.3% THC.
Regardless of where the THCa is sourced, either marijuana or hemp, it’s the same chemical. The rules govern the amount permissible to produce and sell to consumers.
Hemp-derived THCa vs. cannabis-derived THCa
The key differences between hemp-derived and marijuana-derived THCa are source materials and the extraction process. The USDA allows the cultivation of hemp plants, and marijuana is still a DEA Schedule I controlled substance. As such, manufacturers will source THCa from hemp plants instead of marijuana for national distribution.
Chemically speaking, all THCa is the same chemical. THCa from hemp, when converted to delta-9 THC, will produce the same intoxication many consumers seek in high enough concentrations. Products with THCa can include:
- Flower, for smoking
- Edibles, such as infused brownies or gummies
- Concentrates such as live rosin or resin
- Portable vapes and cartridges
However, the only THC permissible in cannabis products is less than 0.3% per dry weight unless you live in a recreationally or medically legalized state. The “per dry weight” phrase is crucial, as the Farm Bill lacks specific guidelines for THCa products like oils or gummies. This enables some manufacturers to “legally” create higher-potency products that produce highs similar to products sold in a cannabis dispensary.
Is THCa Legal in Georgia?
Per the Georgia Hemp Farming Act, any cannabinoid products crafted from industrial hemp are allowed in Georgia. These products may contain no more than 0.3% THC per dry weight basis.
Those who require higher amounts of THCa for medical reasons may qualify for Georgia’s medical marijuana program. With a valid doctor recommendation, Georgians can purchase medical marijuana products with up to 5% THC from legal cannabis dispensaries.
However, only certain cannabis products are allowed in Georgia – infused food items are prohibited. While the laws surrounding gummies and oils are uncertain, Georgia bans any infused brownies, cookies, or other edibles.
Georgia Marijuana Laws
In 2019, Governor Brian Kemp signed House Bill 234 into law, creating the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission (GAMCC) and effectively legalizing medical marijuana. The GAMCC approved licenses for two companies – Trulieve and Botanical Sciences – to provide THC cannabis products of up to 5% potency for medical marijuana patients.
Per these regulations, patients can receive a registry card to purchase medical marijuana if they are:
- An adult with one or more qualifying medical conditions
- The legal caregiver of an adult with a qualifying condition
- The legal guardian of a minor with a qualifying condition, though special rules apply to children and medical marijuana.
Patients need to receive a doctor’s certification to obtain their registry card. Once in hand, individuals can visit approved medical marijuana dispensaries to purchase low-THC products. These products include:
- Sublingual oils
Other forms of cannabis are illegal, including edibles or flower.
THCa products containing less than 0.3% THC per dry weight are legally purchased within Georgia’s borders, per the Georgia Hemp Farming Act. Those found possessing greater amounts of cannabis are subject to legal penalties, as recreational cannabis is still against the law in Georgia. Those in possession can be imprisoned for up to a year and liable for $1,000 in fines.
Where to Buy THCa in Georgia
Those seeking hemp-derived THCa products can often find good options at health food stores or pharmacies, such as Whole Foods or CVS. Hemp-derived delta-9 THC products can help relieve stress, assist those struggling with insomnia, and relieve unpleasant muscle soreness.
Our Evn store features a wide selection of high-quality hemp-derived products, plus other options in our collection.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is THCa legal in Georgia?
THCa products are legal in Georgia statewide as long as they contain no more than 0.3% potency. Those with a medical marijuana card may purchase THCa products of up to 5% content.
Can you buy THCa in Georgia without a medical card?
Consumers can purchase THCa products in Georgia from state-based retailers or online stores. Those with a Georgia medical marijuana card can purchase higher-potency products up to 5% THCa from legal marijuana dispensaries. It’s illegal to buy THCa products from across state lines.
Disclaimer: This article was last updated in August 2023 and reflects federal and state legal information as of this date. Cannabis laws in the U.S. are continually shifting; therefore, the information in this article is subject to change. The information in this article does not constitute legal advice, and no entity at EVN-CBD is claiming to provide legal advice. Please visit your official state website for more information on your state’s cannabis laws and regulations.