Georgia Judge Stops Prosecutions of Hemp-Derived THC Sales

A 30-day restraining order issued by a judge in Fulton County, Georgia prohibits Gwinnett County District Attorney Patsy Austin-Gaston from prosecuting people for possessing or selling synthetic cannabinoids.

Full story after the jump.

A Fulton County, Georgia Superior Court Judge last week issued a 30-day restraining order against Gwinnett County District Attorney Patsy Austin-Gaston from prosecuting people for selling or possessing delta-8 and delta-10 THC extracts, the Associated Press reports. The order comes following a February 22 raid on Elements Distribution, a smoke shop distribution company based in Gwinnett County, which led to the seizure of around $2 million worth of products despite law enforcement officials not pressing any charges or making any arrests.

In his order, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall voiced concerns about whether Austin-Gaston “may or may not be a rogue DA.”

“I think there may be some prosecutorial priorities misplaced.” – Schwall, in his order, via the AP

Austin-Gaston said in January that possessing, selling, or distributing delta-8 and delta-10 products are felony offenses and subsequently directed raids of at least two distributors, seizing millions in inventory; it’s unclear whether the action against Element was at her behest.

Attorney Tom Church, a trial attorney with Pate, Johnson & Church who is representing companies that were raided and vape shops that have not yet been raided, sued Austin-Gaston and the state and asked a judge to determine that hemp-derived THC products, CBD, CBN, and CBG are legal in Georgia.

Austin-Gaston has argued that delta-8 products are illegal because the state’s hemp law does not explicitly allow it, as it does low concentrations of delta-9 THC.

Church contends that “the hemp bill basically legalized all cannabinoids, all extracts” save for delta-9.

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