February 24, 2016 2:40 PM
State Rep. Allen Peake of Macon has spent the better part of three sessions working to make cannabis oil available to Georgians seeking relief from seizures and other ailments. His latest effort, House Bill 722, is being presented in substitute form at a Judiciary Non-Civil committee hearing today. One of the challenges he has faced is trying to legalize what has been assumed to be a Schedule 1 drug with no medical benefit.
While Peake’s bill attempts to define low THC oil as containing less than 5% THC, a portion of Chapter 16 of the Georgia Code already exempts CBD oil if it has less than 15% of tetrahydrocannabinols:
2014 Georgia Code
Title 16 – CRIMES AND OFFENSES
Chapter 13 – CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
Article 2 – REGULATION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
Part 1 – SCHEDULES, OFFENSES, AND PENALTIES
§ 16-13-25 – Schedule I
Universal Citation: GA Code § 16-13-25 (2014)
The controlled substances listed in this Code section are included in Schedule I:
(3) Any material, compound, mixture, or preparation which contains any quantity of the following hallucinogenic substances, their salts, isomers (whether optical, position, or geometrics), and salts of isomers, unless specifically excepted, whenever the existence of these salts, isomers, and salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation:
(P) Tetrahydrocannabinols which shall include, but are not limited to:
(i) All synthetic or naturally produced samples containing more than 15 percent by weight of tetrahydrocannabinols; and
(ii) All synthetic or naturally produced tetrahydrocannabinol samples which do not contain plant material exhibiting the external morphological features of the plant cannabis;
By one reading of the code, CBD oil with an under 15% concentration of THC has been as legal as Coca-Cola in Georgia for many years.
Update: The version of HB 722 that passed committee today takes the maximum percentage of tetrahydrocannabinols in CBD Oil down to 5%, so if you want to take advantage of this loophole, do it quickly.