Georgia Ginseng Law and Regulations
No license is required to dig wild ginseng on private land in Georgia, but written permission must be obtained from the landowner.
Ginseng growers and dealers (defined as anyone who purchases ginseng for the purposes of resale) are required to register with the state annually.
The harvest season for ginseng in Georgia is August 15 to December 31. Ginseng harvested during this season may be sold from September 1 of the harvest year to March 31 of the next year.
Georgia state law requires all harvested ginseng to have at least 3 prongs and a fruiting stalk present.
Georgia requires that the ripe berries of wild ginseng be planted immediately after harvest at the same location at which the ginseng was harvested.
Ginseng may not be harvested on state land in Georgia.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program, Wildlife Resources Division, serves as the states ginseng coordinator. This office can be reached at (770) 918-6411 or:
Ginseng Management Program
A permit is required to collect ginseng in Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests. Contact National Forests in Georgia at (770) 297-3000 or via mail:
1755 Cleveland Highway
Georgia Ginseng Mangement
The export of American ginseng from the USA is regulated by the federal government under the authority of The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) because it is a plant of limited abundance. Please be aware of new changes to the Federal law regulating wild ginseng exported from the USA. The 10-year minimum export restriction applied in 2005 has been retracted. The USFWS has reapplied a 5-year minimum export restriction that had previously been in place since1999. The export of ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) from Georgia is authorized by this federal authority in combination with the Georgia Ginseng Protection Act of 1979, as amended in 1996. Compliance with federal and state guidelines is required in order to maintain a federally approved harvest and export program.
Ginseng dealers and growers are required to register with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on a yearly basis, to maintain harvest and export records of wild and cultivated ginseng, and to obtain certification by DNR of all ginseng prior to export. Ginseng harvest on private lands is only allowed between August 15 and December 31. Ginseng diggers must obtain written permission from the landowner prior to harvesting ginseng root. The harvest of wild ginseng seed and removal of seed from the site is prohibited by law.
Georgia Ginseng Needs Your Help!
Permits are required to harvest ginseng on the Chattahoochee National Forest. The season for harvesting ginseng on U.S. Forest Service property is September 1 to December 31. Due to the scarcity of wild ginseng, however, some Forest Service Districts do not allow harvesting. Diggers should check with the appropriate District Office to determine if ginseng digging is allowed and to obtain permits. It is unlawful to harvest on public lands, either state or federal, without permits. No permits are issued by the State of Georgia for the harvest of ginseng from state lands. The continuation of a wild ginseng harvest and export program in Georgia depends upon good conservation practices and compliance with federal and state laws.
Georgia Law Requires That:
Dealers and growers register with the Department of Natural Resources by July 15;
Diggers harvest wild ginseng only from August 15 to December 31;
Diggers harvest only plants with three (3) or more prongs, & replant ripe berries at the same site;
Diggers must obtain written landowner permission prior to harvesting ginseng;
Dealers and growers must maintain precise records of purchases, sales, and county of origin;
All cultivated and wild ginseng harvested in the State must be certified prior to export.
VIOLATIONS of the Ginseng Protection Act (O.C.G.A. 12-6-150) are punishable as a misdemeanor.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Ginseng Management Program
2065 U.S. Hwy. 278 S.E., Social Circle, GA 30025-4743
Voice: (770)918-6411 or (706)557-3032 Fax: (706)557-3033