Hemp farming regulations signed into Georgia law

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has signed a bill that regulates the state’s new hemp farming industry by increasing processing fees, setting transportation rules and allowing out-of-state hemp sales.

The measure prepares the state for its first hemp crops, which are already being grown this summer after the General Assembly legalized hemp farming last year.

Hemp is used to make CBD oil, a product sold in stores as a treatment for pain, anxiety and insomnia. Hemp comes from the cannabis plant, but unlike marijuana it contains less than 0.3% THC, the compound that gives marijuana users a high.

Because Georgia didn’t allow hemp farming until last year, all CBD oil was imported from other states. Now, CBD oil can also be made from locally grown hemp.

The legislation, House Bill 847, increases the annual hemp processing fee to $50,000 a year, up from a $10,000 fee initially set last year. The fee to grow hemp remains at $50 per acre.

Anyone transporting hemp plants is required to carry appropriate paperwork to help prove they’re in possession of a legal product, according to the bill.

In addition, the bill permits farmers and processors to sell their products to authorized hemp producers in other states.

Kemp signed the legislation July 22, and it became effective immediately.