- Approved legislation (House Bill 847) in Georgia now requires anyone cultivating, transporting, or selling hemp to possess a license.
- The bill was approved by the state Senate on Monday by a 34-13 vote.
- Gov. Brian Kemp’s signature is needed for the new legislation to be official.
An approved legislation in Georgia that sets up licensing fees for hemp production and processing is awaiting the Governor’s signature before going into effect.
The legislation, known as House Bill 847, requires people to hold a license for possession of hemp when:
Finished hemp products do not require a license to possess.
This bill, approved on Monday by a 34-13 vote, now awaits the signature of Gov. Brian Kemp.
Other Details in the Bill
The penalty for being found in possession of hemp without a license is the same as the punishment for marijuana possession in Georgia, which can include jail time and fines.
There is also required fingerprinting and background checks required of owners or executives of hemp research or growing operations.
Once signed by Gov. Kemp, hemp processors would be required to pay a $25,000 permit fee to Georgia’s Department of Agriculture in the first year. Every subsequent year following would be $50,000.
These fees will be used to pay for the licensing and monitoring program that is being run by the agriculture agency, mentioned Sen. Tyler Harper, who was an advocate for the bill.
“This is going to be a phenomenal industry for our state,” said Harper. “This is going to be a way for us to get it off the ground.”
One issue that this bill looks to resolve is confusion during traffic stops. The licenses can help police officers identify whether a plant in possession is hemp or marijuana, which can smell and look identical.