When is Marijuana Not "Just a Misdemeanor" in Georgia?

When is Marijuana Not

Answer: When it’s more than 1oz of marijuana OR any amount of THC oil or THC wax

But isn’t it “Just Pot” – Maybe in Some States, But Not in Georgia

As marijuana use has become more and more prevalent in our society, the laws in Georgia have not changed to accommodate what may be legal in other states. While we have seen some recent changes in laws here in Georgia regarding the cultivation of hemp and the sale of non-THC CBD oils, the sale and possession of marijuana remains illegal in the State of Georgia.

Under the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is a controlled substance and is punishable as a misdemeanor or felony offense based on quantity possessed. While there may be some “local jurisdictions” (including Savannah and the City of Atlanta) who have decriminalized possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, throughout most of the State of Georgia, you can expect to be charged with possession regardless of how much you have in your possession.

But I Have a Valid Prescription – What about Medical Use Marijuana?

While other states, including our neighbor to the south, Florida, permit possession of small amounts of marijuana with a prescription from a licensed medical provider, Georgia DOES NOT permit possession or use of medical marijuana, even if valid in another state. This means that even if you have a valid prescription for medical marijuana from Florida or some other state that has legalized marijuana, you can still be charged with possession in Georgia.

This means that if you are pulled over for even a minor traffic offense in Georgia (including speeding, following to close, tinted windows, failure to maintain lane, obscured license plate to name a few of the more common we see) and the officer finds marijuana in any form (loose pot, blunts, or rolled joints) you will likely be facing either misdemeanor or felony charges depending on how much the officer finds in your possession – Prescription or No Prescription.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Oil and Wax – NOT “Just Pot” by Another Name

Possession of THC Oil or THC Wax is not just a simple Misdemeanor offense in Georgia. Under Georgia’s Controlled Substance Act, both THC Oil and THC Wax are Schedule I drugs and are punishable as a felony in the State of Georgia. Most importantly, with the exception of “low THC oil” described below, possession of any amount of THC Oil or THC Wax in Georgia is a felony offense. This means that unless you are in strict compliance with the Georgia statute governing “low THC oil,” there is no such thing as misdemeanor possession of THC Oil or THC Wax in the Georgia Criminal Statute.

This means that if you are carrying a vape pen with a THC Oil cartridge and you are pulled over for a minor traffic offense, you could be facing felony charges in the State of Georgia.

What about “Low THC oil”? – Only in Small Amounts and Compliance w/Georgia Statute

The Georgia statute governing “low THC oil” defines “low THC oil” as “oil that contains an amount of cannabidiol or not more than 5 percent by weight of tetrahydrocannabinol, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or a combination of tetrahydrocannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid which does not contain plant material exhibiting the eternal morphological features of the plan of the genus Cannabis.”

In short, there are statutory provisions for researchers and private citizens to possess “low THC oil” in very limited quantities concentrations of THC. In Georgia, a person MAY POSSESS up to 20 fluid ounces of “low THC oil” IF:

  • It is in a “pharmaceutical container labeled by the manufacturer indicating the percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol therein” AND
  • The person is registered with the Department of Public Health and has a registration card issued by the Department of Public Health in that person’s possession OR a registration card issued by another state that allows the same possession of “low TCH oil” as prohibited by that state’s law (note: out of state registration card not valid if present in Georgia for 45 days or more)

Max Penalties for Possession of Marijuana or THC Oil or THC Wax in Georgia

Possession of Marijuana

Charge Offense Max Penalty
Less than 1oz of marijuana Misdemeanor $1,000 fine or 12 mos jail or both or public works not to exceed 12 mos
At least 1oz up to 10 pounds of marijuana Felony 1-10 years; (see note for fine)
Greater than 10 but less than 2,000 pounds of marijuana(trafficking) Felony Mandatory min 5 years;$100,000 fine

Possession of any amount near park, school or drug free zone – even worse – call us TODAY!

Note:When a statutory fine is not specified, the court may impose a fine not to exceed $100,000 (OCGA 17-10-8)

Possession of THC Oil or THC Wax

Charge Offense Max Penalty
Less than 1gm of solid or Less than 1ml of liquid Felony 1-3 years; (see note for fine)
At least 1gm but less than 4gm of solid OR 1ml but less than 4ml liquid Felony 1-8 years; (see note for fine)
At least 4gm but less than 28gm of solid OR 4ml but less than 28ml liquid Felony 1-15 year; (see note for fine)

Note:When a statutory fine is not specified, the court may impose a fine not to exceed $100,000 (OCGA 17-10-8)

Possession of “Low THC Oil”

Charge Offense Max Penalty
Less than 20oz without complying with statute (see above) Misdemeanor $1,000 fine or 12 mos jail or both
More than 20oz but less than 160 oz Felony 1–10 years; $50,000 fine
More than 160oz (Trafficking) Felony Up to 20yrs; Up to $1 Million (Depending on actual quantity)

Facing Drug Charges?

You Need an Attorney Specializing in Defending Drug Offenses

If you are facing charges of possession of marijuana in any amount or possession of THC Oil, THC Wax, or any other illegal drug in Georgia, you need our team of lawyers on your side to fight for your rights.These are very serious charges that require quick action from experienced attorney’s to resolve your case with the best outcome possible.

We specialize in fighting drug charges of all kinds. If you are facing misdemeanor or felony drug charges of any kind, Click here or call us at (229) 244-7171 to schedule your free consultation.

Categories: Criminal Defense

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