Georgia Hemp Processor and Grower License Bond Required

Published: May 30, 2019
Georgia hemp processor license requirements

 

Beginning of May, the state of Georgia introduced legislation which will pave the way for legal growing and processing of hemp in the state. House Bill 213, now officially called the Georgia Hemp Farming Act, introduces two license types that will be available to the public in the near future. These licenses are the hemp grower’s license and the hemp processor’s permit.

To become licensed, applicants will need to comply with several requirements. These include providing detailed information about their operations, submitting a criminal background check, posting a surety bond, and more.

See below for an overview of the Act’s provisions!

The Georgia Hemp Farming Act

By introducing this Act, Georgia joins over 40 other states that have already legalized hemp cultivation. The Act follows the passage of the 2018 Federal Farm Bill which removed hemp from the definition of marijuana. In turn, this cleared the way for farmers to begin cultivating hemp for a variety of products such as CBD oils and others.

Under the Georgia Hemp Farming Act, applicants for a hemp grower license or a hemp processor license will need to apply at the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Before these licenses become available, though, a plan for the regulation of hemp production in the state must be drafted.

This plan will be created by the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Agriculture in consultation with the Georgia Governor and Attorney General. Once it is drafted, it must be approved by the U.S. secretary of agriculture. Upon its approval, the Department will then be able to create rules and regulations to implement the Act.

All in all, it is expected that later this year or latest by the beginning of next, the Department will begin issuing these licenses. So what are the requirements for getting licensed?

Hemp Grower and Processor License Requirements

Licensing requirements for growers and processors differ slightly. To obtain a grower’s license, an individual will need to:

  • Be a qualified agricultural producer in Georgia
  • Provide a legal description and global positioning coordinates of the land they intend to use for the cultivation of hemp
  • Provide written consent that allows representatives of the Department and other law enforcement agencies to enter the grower’s premises for the purpose of inspection and ensuring compliance
  • Submit a criminal background check conducted by local law enforcement
  • Pay an annual license fee of $50 per acre cultivated but no more than $5,000 in total

To obtain a processor’s license, an individual will need to:

  • Provide a legal description and global positioning coordinates of the facilities they intend to use for the processing of hemp
  • Submit affidavits by the applicant and any grower they have an agreement with, in which they swear that they have entered or intend to enter into an agreement
  • Provide written consent to allow the representatives of the Department and of other state agencies to enter their premises to inspect them and ensure compliance
  • Post a surety bond in an amount of $100,000
  • Submit a criminal background check conducted by local law enforcement
  • Pay a permit fee of $25,000 for the first year, and an annual renewal fee of $10,000 thereafter

These are the requirements that applicants will need to cover when, in the near future, these licenses become available in Georgia. See below for more information about the bond requirements for processors.

Hemp Processor Surety Bond Requirement

The purpose of a surety bond is to guarantee the bonded party’s compliance with their legal obligations and to provide financial compensation if these are violated. The Act specifies that the bond required by hemp processors is intended to serve as security for anyone who is “aggrieved or adversely affected” by the processor’s failure to comply with its requirements.

The bond which processors must submit is in the amount of $100,000. This is not the price that they must pay to get bonded though. The cost of the surety bond is equal to only a small fraction of the total amount of the bond. It is determined primarily by the personal credit score of the applicant. The higher their score, the cheaper it is to get bonded.

If you have any questions about getting a Georgia hemp processor bond, leave us a comment below or call us at 877.514.5146 anytime!

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Victor Lance is the founder and president of Lance Surety Bond Associates, Inc. He began his career as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving two combat tours. As president of Lance Surety, he now focuses on educating and assisting small businesses throughout the country with various license and bond requirements. Victor graduated from Villanova University with a degree in Business Administration and holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

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