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How to Start a Hemp Business in Georgia

Posted 1 month ago by GVB Biopharma Evidence Based

Georgia might not be the first state you think of in association with hemp, but it contains some of the best ecosystems in the country for growing Cannabis sativa. Recently, it has become more embracing of hemp and cannabis in general, with areas like Atlanta leading the way.

In recent decades, a wide array of industries have recognized Georgia’s potential — so, why not hemp? Learn the ups and downs of starting a hemp business in Georgia, the Peach State.

Georgia hemp law overview

– The 2019 Georgia Hemp Farming Act¹ echoed the 2018 Farm Bill, making hemp cultivation legal in Georgia
– Hemp cultivation in Georgia is centrally regulated by the state
– Georgia remains restrictive of cannabis in general, making proper licensing of extreme importance
– The state has a small medical marijuana program, but adult-use cannabis remains illegal
– Backyard hemp grows are strongly discouraged in Georgia due to the likelihood of mistaken identity with marijuana
– Possession of the quantities of cannabis usually associated with home grows is a felony in Georgia²
Alarmism is on the rise³ as Georgia illicit cannabinoid sales soar
– Regardless, the state hemp program is in full swing

Can I sell cannabinoids in Georgia?

Yes, non-THC cannabinoids are generally viable for sale in Georgia. Local and state lawmakers have raised vocal concerns, however, over the unregulated status of cannabinoid products commonly sold in the state’s “gray markets.”
Sold out of stores with signs blaring “Recreational Dispensary,” these products contain delta 8, THCA, and other THC analogues that are offered thanks to vagaries of federal law. Georgia businesses like these have given cannabinoids a bad name, making it ideal to conduct your operations in as much privacy as possible.

If you do decide to sell cannabinoid products within the state, do so very carefully and only through legitimate retailers. Just as reasonable of an option, though, is taking advantage of Georgia’s significant business tax breaks and incentives⁴ to start a cannabinoid brand with national online distribution.

Taking this approach offers the best of both worlds. By operating and hiring locally, you’ll help the Georgia economy grow. You’ll also steer clear of the evolving drama surrounding gray-area cannabinoids in the Peach State, a wise move for any aspiring entrepreneur.

Is it legal to grow CBD hemp in Georgia?

Yes, you can grow CBD-rich hemp in Georgia in accordance with the state’s Department of Agriculture Hemp Program. As is the case in all 50 states, businesses that intend to grow or process hemp in Georgia must follow applicable licensing and regulatory procedures, which vary on a state-by-state basis.

In Georgia, the process begins by visiting the official Hemp Program website⁵. This portal contains links to all the resources you’ll need to successfully apply for a hemp cultivation permit in the Peach State.

Do you need a permit to grow hemp in Georgia?

Yes, acquiring and renewing a valid permit is a basic necessity of growing hemp in Georgia. The state provides a relatively straightforward program for hemp licensing, and fees are on a sliding scale to maintain fairness across operation sizes. Permits are acquired through the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) and must be renewed on a yearly basis.

How to get a Georgia hemp license

The process of receiving a hemp cultivation license in the state of Georgia is quite straightforward:

1. Navigate to
2. Make an account, which you will use to login to the system
3. Log in, and select either the Hemp Grower License or Hemp Processor Permit (or both) as applicable
4. Read up on all applicable laws and regulations to make sure you stay in compliance
5. Make a hemp business plan in accordance with Georgia state regulations
6. Submit the licensing paperwork accompanied by all relevant fees, and await response from the GDA

How much does a Georgia hemp license cost?

Annual hemp licensing fees in Georgia are based on the size of your operation. The fee is $50 per acre with a maximum yearly fee of $5,000. So, even if you intend to grow more than 100 acres of hemp at a time, your annual fee paid to the GDA will never exceed $5,000. This fee schedule was created to make it easier for smaller hemp cultivators to compete with large, corporate-backed entities.

Is Georgia a good place to grow hemp?

Overall, Georgia offers a nearly ideal environment for hemp cultivation. In the early history of the Americas, hemp was commonly planted all the way down the southern half of the Eastern Seaboard with the most fertile areas being the wetlands along the coast of the Carolinas and Georgia.

Not only is hemp well-suited for the Georgia climate, but planting hemp in Georgia also stays in keeping with one of the state’s oldest agricultural traditions. Even the mountainous, western regions of the state are reasonably good for hemp cultivation. The absolute best area for growing hemp in Georgia is the northeast coast outside Savannah.

How to launch a cannabinoid business in Georgia

Launching a hemp business in Georgia can either be arduous or simple depending on which segments of the process you handle out of state. It remains a fact that, culturally, Georgia is relatively antithetical to Cannabis sativa in general, a position that is not particularly helped by the sudden and recent proliferation of gray-market, intoxicating cannabinoids within the state’s borders.

That’s not to say growing and processing hemp buds in Georgia is absolutely a bad idea. Georgia remains a wonderful climate for growing cannabis after all, and all it takes is a certain degree of adroitness to stay clear of the unique challenges the Peach State’s social fabric imposes.

As one of America’s historical agricultural epicenters, Georgia is just as well known for its rich, fertile croplands as for its debutante balls. Companies that properly study the peculiarities of Georgia’s cultural and economic environments will thrive in the state — in fact, they’ll encounter opportunities that simply can’t be found anywhere else.

Benefits of white labeling CBD in Georgia

It’s a fact that Georgia goes out of its way more than most states to be welcoming to business culture. Lawmakers in Georgia have made it their mission to bring more money into the state by encouraging business operations with low taxes and abundant incentives.

In a purely economic context, there’s hardly any better state than Georgia to operate a hemp business out of. Whether it’s retaining employees, finding business space, or receiving generous lines of credit, Georgia does its best to help you get in and stay in business.

If you source your raw hemp materials from somewhere out of the state, handling all of your business operations within Georgia borders should be highly rewarding. Failing to do so adds a laborious layer to the process of running a hemp business in the state — one which can be entirely avoided with a modicum of business prudence.

The bottom line: Should I start a hemp business in Georgia?

Georgia is a rich — but often unexplored — land of opportunity. Should you choose to set up your hemp shop in Georgia, you will receive the type of welcome to which business owners have lately become unaccustomed.

No matter how state authorities may try to sweeten the deal, though, it’s essential to recognize the unique challenges of starting a hemp business in Georgia. The state languishes within a culture in which hemp is still very much associated with marijuana — and in which marijuana is tantamount to moral decay.

Your chances of experiencing unexpected pushback as a Georgia hemp business owner diminish with each passing year. Until the state totally normalizes its perception of hemp, however, you could be making a Faustian bargain by choosing the Peach State as your home base.

How long does it take to get a hemp license in Georgia?

Most Georgia hemp licenses are either approved or rejected within 30 days of submission. This period follows the full inspection of your facilities that is a required part of the Georgia hemp license application project. Contact the Georgia Department of Agriculture⁶ if you have any questions about a hemp cultivation or processing application you have already submitted.

Do you need a license to sell hemp in Georgia?

No, a license is not necessary to sell bulk hemp or processed hemp products in Georgia. Licensing only applies to when you grow or process hemp flower within the state’s borders — if you acquired your hemp products via any other means, licensing is not necessary to unload your wares.

Can anyone sell CBD in Georgia?

Yes, there are no particular limits on who can sell CBD in Georgia. You do not need to be a licensed hemp cultivator to sell CBD in the state. The only restriction, imposed by both Georgia and the federal government, is that CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC.

Is smokable hemp legal in Georgia?

Yes, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, smokable hemp is legal in Georgia and anywhere else it has not specifically been banned. Despite rampant misinformation, it is not “illegal to smoke hemp,” and Georgia has also not “legalized smokable hemp.” Smoking hemp is definitely not illegal anywhere in the country, and Georgia doesn’t need to legalize smokable hemp for the 2018 Farm Bill to apply.

How much CBD flower can you possess in Georgia?

There are no limits on CBD flower possession in Georgia since the state does not regulate this product category whatsoever. The only relevant restriction is that all CBD products contain less than 0.3% — whether in Georgia or anywhere else in the United States.


1. Georgia Hemp Farming Act. (n.d.). Georgia.

2. Georgia Laws and Penalties – NORML. (2023, January 23). NORML.

3. Georgia Recorder. (n.d.). Georgia Recorder.,a%20small%20amount%20of%20THC.

4. Incentives | Georgia Department of Economic Development. (n.d.).

5. HEMP program. (n.d.). Georgia Department of Agriculture.,Hemp%20Grower%20and%20Processor%20Rules.

6. Homepage | Georgia Department of Agriculture. (n.d.).

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