THC warning, raids prompt hemp lawsuit in Georgia

(A version of this story first appeared at Hemp Industry Daily.)

A Georgia county near Atlanta is wrongly seizing hemp-derived THC products and scaring businesses away from legal products, according to a lawsuit seeking to stop the practice.

The suit, brought by an Atlanta law firm, asks a state court to block seizures or arrests in Gwinnett County, where a district attorney recently wrote a nonbinding opinion that intoxicating hemp products such as delta-8 and delta-10 THC violate Georgia drug law.

Attorney Tom Church of the Pate Johnson & Church law firm told Hemp Industry Daily that the interpretation is incorrect and is chilling business for Georgia hemp manufacturers and retailers.

“This stuff is sold throughout the entire state, mostly in vape stores,” he said.

The complaint notes that hemp extracts are being sold “openly and publicly under the reasonable belief that Georgia has legalized these products as long as the cannabinoids in the products were sourced from hemp.”

Church said that several businesses selling the intoxicating hemp derivatives have been raided, with at least one arrest.

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His clients are vape stores that have not been raided but are seeing a loss of business because of the district attorney’s January statement that the hemp products “contain controlled substances that in some cases are lethal,” according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

A hearing in the case had not been set as of Monday.