This loophole exists because the portion of Georgia law which covers cannabis extracts, Schedule I of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, kicks in at 15%. Before the Haleigh’s Hope Act was signed into law last year all cannabis extracts up to 15% should have been legal for anyone to possess (according to Georgia law), but with the creation of the new law came a new set of penalties for anyone that unlawfully possesses an extract with up to 5% THC.
As Chuck Spahos, head of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council of Georgia, tried to explain the confusing issue to Georgia lawmakers he did a fantastic job demonstrating just why attorneys and lawmakers have no business discussing cannabis medicine in the first place. Even after the entire portion of law that concerns marijuana extracts was read out loud for the committee, some members were still unable to grasp what they were being told.
Part of that confusion stems from Georgia’s very old and very poorly-worded section of code that is supposed to outlaw extracts that do not contain plant material. In OCGA 16-13-25, Georgia Law defines the substances that are considered to fall under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, and one of those definitions is simply referred to as Tetrahydrocannabinol. According to the state of Georgia, tetrahydrocannabinol is defined as (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 cannabis plant.
Did you catch that?
In the 1970’s when lawyers and politicians were trying to define various aspects of the marijuana plant and extracts made from marijuana they couldn’t figure out what to call hash oil, so they just called it THC. So according to Georgia law, a “sample” of “THC” that doesn’t contain plant material AND contains less than 15% THC is perfectly legal for anyone to possess. In other words, the definition of THC is something that contains too much THC.