The law firm of Pate, Johnson & Church has assisted a number of individuals and companies in matters involving the legality of Delta 8 and Delta 10 products derived from hemp, in both criminal and civil proceedings in Georgia. 

Hemp products are legal, according to both federal and Georgia state laws. Several jurisdictions in Georgia have taken the position that because the products contain THC they are illegal, despite the fact that the THC in the products is not Delta 9 THC (which is explicitly prohibited under both state and federal laws). As a result, these jurisdictions have conducted raids, seizures and arrests of store owners, distributors, wholesalers, and individuals in Georgia who sell the Delta 8 and 10 hemp products. Some of the product seizures have been significant, which greatly impacts the operations and revenue of the Georgia businesses targeted by these jurisdictions. 

In this case, Reason interviewed Attorney Tom Church regarding our firm’s representation of two vape stores in Gwinnett County, Georgia, which were raided by Gwinnett County District Attorney, Patsy Austin-Gatson. Our firm obtained a court-ordered injunction against Ms. Austin-Gaston, preventing her from conducting any further arrests, raids, or seizures of Gwinnett County vape stores or sellers of Delta 8 products, pending the outcome of our lawsuit requesting a declaratory judgment to address the specific legality of Delta 8 and Delta 10 THC in Georgia. 

Tom explained that the law is favorable to the shop owners affected in these situations, despite the fact that they will “face an uphill battle.” Tom says that “even pending a positive outcome of the Gwinnett case, a successful prosecution would require demonstrating “criminal knowledge” that a defendant knowingly bought or sold an illicit substance.”

Regarding the issue of knowledge, Tom says that “ if shop owners purchased products with documentation showing that they were legal, then they have done their due diligence.” He also says “the type of drug test available to most local law enforcement agencies may be able to detect THC, but often “doesn’t differentiate” well enough to tell delta-8 from delta-9.”


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