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Subject 40-32-1 GENERAL PROVISIONS

Rule 40-32-1-.01 Authority and Purpose of Rules

Pursuant to the authority vested in the Georgia Department of Agriculture under the Georgia Hemp Farming Act, O.C.G.A. § 2-23-1 et. seq., the purpose of these Rules is to establish the standards, practices, procedures, and requirements for growing and processing hemp in Georgia.

Rule 40-32-1-.02 Definitions

Words used in these Rules in the singular form will be deemed to impart the plural, and vice versa, as the case may demand. For the purposes of these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms will be construed, respectively, to mean:

(a) "Acceptable hemp THC level" - when a laboratory tests a sample, it must report the delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol content concentration level on a dry weight basis and the measurement of uncertainty. The acceptable hemp THC level is when the application of the measurement of uncertainty to the reported delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol content concentration level on a dry weight basis produces a distribution or range that includes 0.3% or less. For example, if the reported delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol content concentration level on a dry weight basis is 0.35% and the measurement of uncertainty is +/- 0.06%, the measured delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol content concentration level on a dry weight basis for this sample ranges from 0.29% to 0.41%. Because 0.3% is within the distribution or range, the sample is within the acceptable hemp THC level for the purpose of compliance.
(b) "Agricultural Marketing Service" or "AMS" - the Agricultural Marketing Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.
(c) "Application" - the necessary and required written request which must be submitted to the Department by an Applicant, as required by the Department, and which includes, but may not be limited to, all requirements of O.C.G.A. §§ 2-5-1 through 2-5-4.1 as stated therein.
(d) "Applicant" - a person, or a person serving in an official capacity or as an agent who is authorized to sign for a business entity, who submits an application for a Hemp Grower License or a Hemp Processor Permit.
(e) "Commercial sale" - the sale of a product in the stream of commerce at retail, at wholesale, and online.
(f) "Commissioner" - the Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture.
(g) "Controlled Substances Act" or "CSA" - the federal Controlled Substances Act as codified in 21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.
(h) "Conviction" - for purposes of these Rules, means any plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or any finding of guilt, except when the finding of guilt is subsequently overturned on appeal, pardoned, or expunged. For purposes of these Rules, a conviction is expunged when the conviction is removed from the individual's criminal history record and there are no legal disabilities or restrictions associated with the expunged conviction, other than the fact that the conviction may be used for sentencing purposes for subsequent convictions. In addition, where an individual is allowed to withdraw an original plea of guilty or nolo contendere and enter a plea of not guilty and the case is subsequently dismissed, the individual is no longer considered to have a conviction for purposes of this part.
(i) "Corrective action plan" - a plan established by the Department for a Licensee or Permittee to correct negligent violations of or non-compliance with the Act or these Rules.
(j) "Culpable mental state greater than negligence" - to act intentionally, knowingly, willfully, or recklessly.
(k) "Cultivate" means to plant, water, grow, and harvest a plant or crop.
(l) "Decarboxylated" - the completion of the chemical reaction that converts THC-acid (THC-A) into delta-9-THC, the intoxicating component of cannabis. The decarboxylated value is also calculated using a conversion formula that sums delta-9-THC and eighty-seven and seven tenths (87.7) percent of THC-acid.
(m) "Decarboxylation" - the removal or elimination of carboxyl group from a molecule or organic compound.
(n) "Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol" or "Delta-9 THC" - the primary psychoactive component of cannabis. For the purposes of this part, delta-9 THC and THC are interchangeable.
(o) "Department" - the Georgia Department of Agriculture, its agent(s), or its designee(s).
(p) "Drug Enforcement Administration" or "DEA" - the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.
(q) "Dry weight basis" - the ratio of the amount of moisture in a sample to the amount of dry solid in a sample. A basis for expressing the percentage of a chemical in a substance after removing the moisture from the substance. Percentage of THC on a dry weight basis means the percentage of THC, by weight, in a cannabis item (plant, extract, or other derivative), after excluding moisture from the item.
(r) "Entity" - a corporation, joint stock company, association, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, irrevocable trust, estate, charitable organization, or other similar organization, including any such organization participating in the hemp production as a partner in a general partnership, a participant in a joint venture, or a participant in a similar organization.
(s) "Farm Service Agency" or "FSA" - the Farm Service Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture.
(t) "Gas chromatography" or "GC" - a type of chromatography in analytical chemistry used to separate, identify, and quantify each component in a mixture. GC relies on heat for separating and analyzing compounds that can be vaporized without decomposition.
(u) "Georgia Hemp Farming Act" - the Georgia law authorizing the Department to regulate hemp growers and processors, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 2-23-1 et. seq.
(v) "Geospatial location" or "GPS coordinates" - a location designated through a global system of navigational satellites used to determine the precise ground position of a place or object.
(w) "Grow site" - a contiguous lot, parcel, or tract of land identified in an approved Hemp Grower License application on which a Licensee cultivates or intends to cultivate hemp. A Grow Site may include greenhouses as well as land and buildings that are not used to cultivate hemp. Each lot, parcel, or tract of land separated by a barrier or buffer of at least twelve feet (12') in width will be considered a separate Grow Site.
(x) "Handle" - to possess or store hemp plants for any period of time on premises owned, operated, or controlled by a person licensed to cultivate or process hemp, or to possess or store hemp plants in a vehicle for any period of time other than during the actual transport of such plants from the premises of a person licensed to cultivate or process hemp to the premises of another licensed person; provided, however, that such term does not include possessing or storing finished hemp products.
(y) "Harvest lot" or "Lot" - a quantity of hemp, of the same variety, harvested in a distinct timeframe that is: (1) Cultivated in one contiguous production area within a grow site; or (2) Cultivated in a portion or portions of one contiguous production area within a grow site. Harvest lot does not include a quantity of hemp comprised of hemp grown in noncontiguous production areas.
(z) "Hemp" - the Cannabis sativa L. plant and any part of such plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with the federally defined THC level for hemp or a lower level.
(aa) "Hemp Crop" - one (1) or more unprocessed hemp plant(s) or plant parts.
(bb) "Hemp Grower License" or "Grower License" - a license issued by the Department under the authority of the Georgia Hemp Farming Act authorizing a person to handle and cultivate hemp in the State of Georgia.
(cc) "Hemp Processor Permit" or "Processor Permit" - a permit issued by the Department under the authority of the Georgia Hemp Farming Act authorizing a person to handle and process hemp in the State of Georgia.
(dd) "Hemp Product" - all products with the federally defined THC level for hemp derived from, or made by, processing hemp plants or plant parts that are prepared in a form available for commercial sale, but not including food products infused with THC unless approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
(ee) "High-performance liquid chromatography" or "HPLC" - a type of chromatography technique in analytical chemistry used to separate, identify, and quantify each component in a mixture. HPLC relies on pumps to pass a pressurized liquid solvent containing the sample mixture through a column filled with a solid adsorbent material to separate and analyze compounds.
(ff) "Information sharing system" - the database mandated under the federal Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 which allows USDA to share information collected under State, Tribal, and USDA plans with Federal, State, Tribal, and local law enforcement.
(gg) "Key participant" - a sole proprietor, a partner in partnership, or a person with executive managerial control in a corporation. A person with executive managerial control includes persons such as a chief executive officer, chief operating officer and chief financial officer. This definition does not include non-executive managers such as farm, field, or shift managers.
(hh) "Law enforcement" or "Law enforcement agency"- any Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency.
(ii) "Licensee" - an individual or business entity possessing a Hemp Grower License issued by the Department under the authority of the Georgia Hemp Farming Act to handle and cultivate hemp in the State of Georgia.
(jj) "Measurement of Uncertainty" or "MU" - the parameter, associated with the result of a measurement, that characterizes the dispersion of the values that could reasonably be attributed to the particular quantity subject to measurement.
(kk) "Negligence" - failure to exercise the level of care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in complying with the regulations set forth under this part.
(ll) "Permittee" - an individual or business entity possessing a Hemp Processor Permit issued by the Department under the authority of the Georgia Hemp Farming Act to handle and process hemp in the State of Georgia.
(mm) "Person" - a natural person, corporation, foundation, organization, business trust, estate, limited liability company, licensed corporation, trust, partnership, limited liability partnership, association, or other form of legal business entity, as well as a state or local government entity.
(nn) "Phytocannabinoid" - cannabinoid chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, two of which are Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9 THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
(oo) "Postdecarboxylation" - in the context of testing methodologies for THC concentration levels in hemp, means a value determined after the process of decarboxylation that determines the total potential delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol content derived from the sum of the THC and THC-A content and reported on a dry weight basis. The postdecarboxylation value of THC can be calculated by using a chromatograph technique using heat, gas chromatography, through which THCA is converted from its acid form to its neutral form, THC. Thus, this test calculates the total potential THC in a given sample. The postdecarboxylation value of THC can also be calculated by using a high-performance liquid chromatograph technique, which keeps the THC-A intact, and requires a conversion calculation of that THC-A to calculate total potential THC in a given sample. See the definition for decarboxylation.
(pp) "Process" or "processing" - converting an agricultural commodity into a marketable form.
(qq) "Product lot" - a specific quantity of finished hemp products having uniform character and quality within specified limits.
(rr) "Qualified Agricultural Producer" - a producer of agricultural products who meets one of the following criteria:
1. The person or entity is the owner or lessee of agricultural land or other real property from which $5,000.00 or more of agricultural products in aggregate were produced and sold during the year, including payments from government sources;
2. The person or entity is in the business of performing agricultural operations and has provided $5,000.00 of such services during the year;
3. The person or entity is in the business of producing long-term agricultural products from which there might not be annual income, including, but not limited to, timber, pulpwood, orchard crops, pecans, livestock, and horticultural or other multiyear agricultural or farm products. Applicants must demonstrate that sufficient volumes of such long-term agricultural products will be produced which have the capacity to generate in aggregate at least $5,000.00 in annualized sales in the future; or
4. The person or entity must establish, to the satisfaction of the Commissioner of Agriculture, that the person or entity is actively engaged in the production of agricultural products and has or will have created sufficient volumes to generate in aggregate at least $5,000.00 in annualized sales.
(ss) "Reverse distributor" - a person who is registered with the DEA in accordance with 21 CFR 1317.15 to dispose of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act.
(tt) "Secretary" - the United States Secretary of Agriculture.
(uu) "USDA" - the United States Department of Agriculture.
(vv) "Variety" - a group of plants or an individual plant that exhibits distinctive observable physical characteristic(s) or has a distinct genetic composition.
(ww) "Volunteer cannabis plant" - any cannabis plant that: (a) Grows of its own accord from seeds or roots in the years following an intentionally planted cannabis crop; and (b) Is not intentionally planted.

Rule 40-32-1-.03 Compliance with Federal Law

Nothing in these Rules will be construed as authorizing any person to violate any Federal law or regulation.

Rule 40-32-1-.04 Georgia Hemp Plan - Incorporation by Reference

Pursuant to the requirements of O.C.G.A. § 2-23-11, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the Governor and Attorney General, has submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States a plan under which the Department intends to regulate hemp production in Georgia. Upon approval of the Georgia Hemp Plan, or an amended plan, by the Secretary of Agriculture, such plan will be deemed incorporated into these Rules by reference. The approved plan will be posted on the Department's website at agr.georgia.gov.

Rule 40-32-1-.05 Consultation with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation

Pursuant to the requirements of O.C.G.A. § 2-23-12, these Rules, which are necessary to implement the provisions of the Georgia Hemp Farming Act, have been developed in consultation with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Rule 40-32-1-.06 Severability

If any provision of these Rules or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid for any reason, the invalidity shall not affect the other provisions or any other application of these Rules which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application. To this end all provisions of these sections are declared to be severable.