Senate Bill 81 was given final passage in the House on Thursday. The bill, requested by the state Department of Natural Resources, will help boost supplies of wild ginseng, a key ingredient in products such as energy drinks and cosmetics.
Ginseng grows wild, mostly in the North Georgia mountains, where harvesters pick the plant for its roots. Once dried, the roots as recently as 2011 fetched about $350 per pound. Much of it is sold to China.