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Georgia: Medical Marijuana Law Overview and State Fines/Penalties - 1/01/2017

Dan Ultra

New Member
Georgia: Medical Marijuana Law Overview and State Fines/Penalties - 1/01/2017//

Georgia's HB 1 Haleigh's Hope Act

Status: Rules and Regulations Not Yet Approved

In 2015, the Georgia legislature passed HB 1, which created a patient ID card registry and established a list of eight qualifying conditions so that patients may legally possess and use low-THC medical cannabis products. The law places a 5% cap on THC and requires that products have at least 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC. The law does not allow for in state production or access, but did create the Georgia Medical Cannabis Commission, which was tasked with investigating other state programs in order to come up with a legislative proposal. In Dec. 2015, the Commission voted against in state production of medical cannabis.

Eligible conditions:
  • Cancer
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Lou Gehrig's Disease
  • Mitochondrial Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Sickle Cell Disease


Penalty Details

Marijuana is not a scheduled substance, but is regulated under the Georgia Controlled Substances Act.

When a person is found guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for a maximum term of ten years or less, the judge may, impose punishment as for a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 or by confinement in the county or other jail, county correctional institution, not to exceed 12 months, or both. A person convicted of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $5,000.00

See
  • Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-13-25 - 30
  • O.C.G.A. § 17-10-3, 4, & 5



Possession for Personal Use

Possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1,000, or public works for up to 12 months. Possession of over an ounce is a felony punishable by a minimum of 1 and maximum of 10 years imprisonment.

See
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-13-2(b)
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-13-30(j)


Possession with Intent to Distribute

Possession with intent to distribute 10 pounds or less of marijuana is a felony punishable by a minimum of 1 and maximum of 10 years imprisonment. Possession of over 10 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds is punishable by a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $100,000. Possession of 2,000 pounds or more but less than 10,000 pounds is punishable by a minimum of 7 years and maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. Possession of 10,000 pounds or more is punishable by a minimum of 15 years and maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000.

See
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-13-30(j)
  • O.C.G.A. §§ 16-13-31(c), (h)

Possession with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of school grounds, a park, or a housing project, or in a drug free zone is a felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $20,000 for a first offense. A second or subsequent offense is punishable by a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 40 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $40,000. It is an affirmative defense that the conduct took place entirely within a private residence, no one 17 years old or younger was present, and the conduct was not committed for financial gain.

See
  • O.C.G.A. §§ 16-13-32.4 - 32.6


Sale/Delivery

Sale or delivery of 10 pounds or less of marijuana is a felony punishable by a minimum of 1 and maximum of 10 years imprisonment. Sale or delivery of over 10 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds is punishable by a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $100,000. Sale or delivery of 2,000 pounds or more but less than 10,000 pounds is punishable by a minimum of 7 years and maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. Sale or delivery of 10,000 pounds or more is punishable by a minimum of 15 years and maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000.

See
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-13-30(j)
  • O.C.G.A. §§ 16-13-31(c), (h)

Sale or delivery within 1,000 feet of school grounds, a park, or a housing project, or in a drug free zone is a felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $20,000 for a first offense. A second or subsequent offense is punishable by a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 40 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $40,000. It is an affirmative defense that the conduct took place entirely within a private residence, no one 17 years old or younger was present, and the conduct was not committed for financial gain.

See
  • O.C.G.A. §§ 16-13-32.4 - 32.6


Cultivation

Cultivation of 10 pounds or less of marijuana is a felony punishable by a minimum of 1 and maximum of 10 years imprisonment. Cultivation of over 10 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds is punishable by a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $100,000. Cultivation of 2,000 pounds or more but less than 10,000 pounds is punishable by a minimum of 7 years and maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. Cultivation of 10,000 pounds or more is punishable by a minimum of 15 years and maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000.

See
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-13-30(j)
  • O.C.G.A. §§ 16-13-31(c), (h)

Cultivation within 1,000 feet of school grounds, a park, or a housing project, or in a drug free zone is a felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $20,000 for a first offense. A second or subsequent offense is punishable by a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 40 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $40,000. It is an affirmative defense that the conduct took place entirely within a private residence, no one 17 years old or younger was present, and the conduct was not committed for financial gain.

See
  • O.C.G.A. §§ 16-13-32.4 to 32.6


Hash & Concentrates

In Georgia, hashish and concentrates that contain more than 15% THC by volume are a Schedule I substance and are punished more harshly than natural-form marijuana.

See
  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-25(3)(P)
  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-21 (16)

Possessing less than 1 gram of a solid substance, less than 1 milliliter of a liquid substance or placed onto a secondary medium with a combined weight of less than 1 gram is a felony, punishable by imprisonment of not less than 1 year nor more than 3 years. Possessing 1 gram but less than 4 grams of a solid substance, 1 milliliter but less than 4 milliliters of a liquid substance or if placed onto a secondary medium with a combined weight of 1 gram but less than 4 grams is a felony, punishable by imprisonment of not less than 1 year nor more than 8 years. Possessing 4 grams but less than 28 grams of a solid substance, 4 milliliters but less than 28 milliliters of a liquid substance, or if placed onto a secondary medium with a combined weight of 4 grams but less than 28 grams is a felony punishable by imprisonment of not less than 1 year nor more than 15 years.

Manufacturing, distributing, selling, or possessing hashish or concentrates with the intent to distribute is a felony, which is punishable by imprisonment for not less than 5 years nor more than 30 years. Upon conviction of a second or subsequent offense, the violator shall be imprisoned for not less than 10 years nor more than 40 years or life imprisonment.

See
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-13-30

Possession of paraphernalia with the intent to use said paraphernalia to ingest or produce hashish or concentrates is a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year and prison and a maximum fine of $1,000.

See
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-13-32.2.

Manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with intent to deliver hashish or concentrates within 1,000 ft. of a school, housing project, public park, or commercial drug-free zone is a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 20 years or a fine of not more than $20,000.00, or both. Subsequent offenses bring enhanced penalties.

See
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-13-32.4
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-13-32.5
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-13-32.6



Paraphernalia

Possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1,000. Sale or possession with intent to distribute is a misdemeanor for the first offense punishable by up to 1 year imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1,000, a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature for a second offense punishable by up to 1 year imprisonment and/or a fine up to $5,000, and a felony for a third offense punishable by a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 5 years imprisonment and a fine up to $5,000.

See
  • O.C.G.A. §§ 16-13-32 to 32.2
  • O.C.G.A. §§ 17-10-3 to 4


Sentencing

A person who has not previously been convicted of a drug charge in any US territory may, after being convicted of or pleading guilty to a marijuana possession charge, have the proceedings against them deferred and be put on probation for up to 5 years. The probation may include mandatory drug treatment for up to 3 years. Successful completion of the terms of probation will result in result in a dismissal of the proceedings against the person.

See
  • O.C.G.A. §§ 16-13-2(a), (c)

When a person is found guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for a maximum term of 10 years or less, the judge may, in his discretion, sentence that person as if it were a misdemeanor.

See
  • O.C.G.A. § 17-10-5

Repeat felony offenses are to be sentenced by the maximum term allowed for by the felony committed.

See
  • O.C.G.A. § 17-10-7


Forfeiture

Vehicles and other property may be seized for controlled substance violations. The seizing agency has 60 days after the seizure to initiate a forfeiture proceeding. The seizing agency must notify all those with an interest in the property. If the property value is $25,000 or less, then a person with an interest in the property has 30 days to make a claim to it, to which the district attorney has 30 days to respond.

See
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-13-49


Miscellaneous

Abandoning dangerous drugs

Anyone who abandons a controlled substance, including marijuana, in a public place is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1,000.

See
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-13-3
  • O.C.G.A. § 17-10-3


Involvement of a minor in a marijuana offense

Involving a minor in the sale or cultivation of marijuana is a felony punishable by a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $20,000.

See
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-13-30(k)

Distribution of marijuana flavored product

The sale or delivery of a marijuana flavored product to a minor is a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine for each offense.

See
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-13-30.6

Use of communications facility in a controlled substances felony

Use of any communications facility, including a computer, a telephone, or mail, in the commission or facilitation of a drug offense that is considered a felony is punishable by a minimum of 1 year and maximum of 4 years and/or a fine up to $30,000.

See
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-13-32.3

Suspension of driver's license

Any conviction of a marijuana possession, sale, or cultivation offense results in suspension of that individual's driving license. For a first offense in 5 years, the period of suspension is at least 180 days and the restoration fee is up to $210, or $200 when reinstatement is processed by mail. A second offense in 5 years results in a suspension for at least 3 years, but after 1 year the individual may apply for reinstatement for a fee up to $310, or $300 when reinstatement is processed by mail. A third or subsequent offense in 5 years results in a suspension for at least 5 years, but after 2 years the individual may apply for reinstatement a 3 year driving permit if certain conditions are met and they pay a fee up to $410, or $400 when reinstatement is processed by mail.

See
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-5-75(a)


CONDITIONAL RELEASE

The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual's criminal record does not reflect the charge.

DRUGGED DRIVING

This state has a per se drugged driving law enacted. In their strictest form, these laws forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite (i.e., compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in the body, but not necessarily psychoactive themselves) present in their bodily fluids above a specific, state-imposed threshold. Further information about cannabinoids and their impact on psychomotor performance is available here. Additional information regarding cannabinoids and proposed per se limits is available here.

MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCE

When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to "life MMS" must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.

MEDICAL CBD

This state has passed a medical CBD law allowing for the use of cannabis extracts that are high in CBD and low in THC to treat severe, debilitating epileptic conditions.

TAX STAMPS

This state has a marijuana tax stamp law enacted. This law mandates that those who possess marijuana are legally required to purchase and affix state-issued stamps onto his or her contraband. Failure to do so may result in a fine and/or criminal sanction. For more information, see NORML's report Marijuana Tax Stamp Laws And Penalties.
Source: NORML & Americans for Safe Access
 

420Veteran

New Member
This needs updated a second law passed adding to this. Hopefully current legislation in the Georgia House adds to this as well for flower, oil, edibles without thc limits.

What does the law do?

Georgia’s medical marijuana law allows certain qualified persons to legally possess up to 20 fluid ounces of “low THC oil,” which is derived from the marijuana plant. It authorizes the Georgia Department of Public Health to issue a “Low THC Oil Registry Card” to qualified persons, which will prove that they are authorized to have the oil and protect them from arrest.

How does Georgia’s law compare to laws in other states which have adopted medical marijuana?

Georgia’s law is much more limited than some other states’ medical marijuana laws. For example, it does not legalize the sale or possession of marijuana in leaf form and it does not authorize the production or sale of food products infused with low THC oil or the ingestion of low THC oil through vapor. It does not authorize physicians to prescribe marijuana for medical use. It is intended solely to protect qualified persons from criminal prosecution for possessing low THC oil for medicinal purposes.

Who is eligible for the “Low THC Oil Registry Card”?

There are three categories of persons who may apply for the card:

  1. an adult who has one or more of the diseases specified in the law;
  2. legal guardians of an adult who has one or more of the diseases specified in the law;
  3. parents or legal guardians of a minor child who has one or more of the diseases specified in the law.
What conditions or diseases are covered by the law?

The law lists the following conditions and diseases which qualify for the Low THC Oil Registry:

  • Cancer, when such diagnosis is end stage or the treatment produces related wasting illness or recalcitrant nausea and vomiting
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage
  • Seizure disorders related to diagnosis of epilepsy or trauma related head injuries
  • Multiple sclerosis, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Mitochondrial disease
  • Parkinson’s disease, when such diagnosis is sever or end stage
  • Sickle cell disease, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage
  • Tourette’s syndrome, when such syndrome is diagnosed as severe
  • Autism spectrum disorder, when (a) patient is 18 years of age or more, or (b) patient is less than 18 years of age and diagnosed with severe autism
  • Epidermolysis bullosa
  • Alzheimer’s disease, when such disease is severe or end stage
  • AIDS when such syndrome is severe or end stage
  • Peripheral neuropathy, when symptoms are severe or end stage
  • Patient is in hospice program, either as inpatient or outpatient
  • Intractable pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from direct exposure to or witnessing of a trauma for a patient who is at least 18 years of age
What if more than one person is caring for the child or adult?

If there is more than one parent or legal guardian, then each may apply for a separate card.

How do I apply for the Low THC Registry Card?

The application is actually sent in by the physician who is treating the patient. There are two forms. First, there is a waiver form which must be signed by both the applicant and the physician. Second, there is a physician

certification form. The physician will keep the original waiver and certification form in the patient’s medical records. You may request a copy. The physician will electronically submit the information from these forms to the Georgia Department of Public Health, which will review the information and create a Low THC Oil Registry Card for qualified applicants.

Where will I get my Low THC Registry Card? Will it be mailed to me?

You will be notified when your card has been printed. A representative from DPH’s Office of Vital Records will contact you to establish which of 20 Public Health Offices across the state is most convenient for you to pick up your card. A representative from the Public Health Office selected will notify you when your card is available for pick-up.

How much does the card cost? How do I pay for it?

The fee for a Low THC Registry Card is $25 per new card, which is the standard fee used by the Office of Vital Records. You will be asked to pay for your card when you pick it up from the closest of the 20 Public Health Offices approved to distribute them.

How long is the card valid?

The card will be valid for two years from the date it is issued. The expiration date will be printed on the front of the card. After that time, you will need to again consult with your physician and request that they update and confirm your information into the registry. Please plan to allow 15 business days to process your information, print your card and have it ready for pick-up from the closest of the 20 Public Health Offices approved to distribute them to the address you list as your residence in the registry.

What happens if I lose my card?

If you lose your card, please contact the State Office of Vital Records at 404-679-4702 option 4. If your card has not expired, your physician will be contacted to confirm you are still under their care. Once confirmed, a replacement card will be provided to you. Please plan to allow 15 business days to process your information, print your card and have it ready for pick-up at your closest Public Health Office. Replacement cards will cost $25.

The information on my card is wrong or outdated. How do I correct it?

If the information on your card is wrong or outdated, please contact the State Office of Vital Records at 404-679-4702 option 4. Vital Records will verify the information provided by your physician on your order. If the information on the order is incorrect, you will need to contact your physician and ask that they update the information. At that time a new card will be issued.

Can I alter or laminate my card?

Cards can be laminated; however, a card is void if any changes are made to it.

Where can I buy low THC oil?

Under House Bill 324, the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission, which is administratively assigned to the Secretary of State’s Office, will oversee the growing, manufacturing, and dispensing of low THC oil in Georgia. The Georgia Department of Public Health does not prescribe or dispense low THC oil.

Is marijuana now legal? Where can I buy it?

No. The law only authorizes the legal possession of up to 20 fluid ounces of low THC oil by qualified persons. It does not make the sale or possession of all types of marijuana legal in Georgia. Possession of any form of marijuana by an unauthorized person is and remains a violation of state and federal law.

Can I now sell medical marijuana?

The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission will issue a limited number of licenses for the growing, manufacturing, and dispensing of low THC oil in Georgia. It is a violation of state and fedral law for unauthorized persons to sell any form of marijuana.
 
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