Hemp-derived cannabinoids aren’t controlled substances, GA court says

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Hemp-derived cannabinoids such as delta-8 and delta-10 THC could be legal to sell in Georgia after the state’s Court of Appeals ruled such products aren’t controlled substances.

The decision follows a Georgia crackdown on hemp-derived THC products that included a 2022 raid on retailer Elements Distribution, the plaintiff in the case, according to Atlanta TV station WXIA.

The Gwinnett County district attorney’s office, which worked with local authorities in the raids, could still appeal the decision to the Georgia Supreme Court.

After passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which federally legalized hemp, states have taken different approaches to regulating hemp-derived cannabinoids.

Nebraska is cracking down on sales of hemp-derived products containing more than 0.3% THC, and a federal judge recently blocked an attempted ban on the products in Arkansas.

Georgia passed the state’s Hemp Farming Act in 2019.

“I think this is a powerful message for folks around Georgia that these are legal products,” Elements Distribution attorney Tom Church told WXIA in reaction to the Court of Appeals decision.

“The Legislature specifically legalized them in 2019 and that law enforcement has no authority to go after businesses that are legally selling these products.”

Meanwhile, Georgia recently added a unique twist to its medical marijuana program that launched this year: Independent pharmacies are now permitted to sell low-THC cannabis oil.

Both flower and edibles are banned in the state’s MMJ program.