Cannabidiol (CBD) comes from the hemp plant, and yes, it is legal in the state of Tennessee. CBD must contain 0.3% or less of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to be legal. When the legal amount of THC meets Federal and State standards, it can be sold in oils, tinctures, topicals, and in some food edibles. When the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 passed, it made all hemp products legal for use, sale, and possession at the federal level.
The US Department of Agriculture is responsible for maintaining rules and regulations when it comes to quality and safety standards. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) holds the power over marketing and regulating CBD labeling, additives to food products, and therapeutic claims.
What Is CBD Used For?
CBD has become widely accepted as an aid for many medical and psychological conditions, even though research studies confirming these benefits are still ongoing. CBD has been shown by some researchers to have various therapeutic benefits involving help in relieving things like inflammation, anxiety, seizures, pain, and more.
Why Is CBD Sometimes Illegal?
The one thing that CBD products will not do is provide intoxicating effects like marijuana products that include too much tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It used to be that any cannabis plants, including hemp, were illegal because it was assumed at the time all cannabis plants would cause intoxicating effects and could lead to addiction. This was according to the 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act.
In 2018, the Hemp Farming Act legalized the cultivation of hemp. This happened because it was finally realized that hemp contains 0.3% THC or less and marijuana is cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC. This led to hemp being removed from the Schedule I category and it defined hemp differently than marijuana. CBD derived from hemp was declassified as a controlled substance. However, CBD derived from the marijuana plant is still considered illegal and is still considered a Schedule I controlled substance because it could contain more than the legalized 0.3% THC.
With all of that being said, even the hemp products derived from CBD still remains extremely regulated by the federal government. The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 allows every state to enlist their own laws and regulations that regard the sale and distribution of products derived from hemp. State jurisdictions retain their right to restrict or even prohibit the cultivation and commerce of hemp products. Also, states can attempt to oversee the regulation of food, beverages, cosmetic products, and dietary supplements that contain hemp CBD despite the final rules that the FDA has laid out.
Prior Tennessee CBD Laws
In 2016 the Senate Bill 2125 was signed into law. The bill amended the marijuana laws in the state of Tennessee to exclude cannabis oil, that includes cannabis flower and seeds that contain less than .6% of THC be defined differently than marijuana legally.
Later in the the year in 2016, the House Bill 1044 was also signed into law. It allowed cannabis with 0.9% of THC ow lower would be allowed to be manufactured, processed, dispensed, and possessed by patients referred to by a four-year public institution in the state of Tennessee as part of clinical research that pertained to antiseizure, anticancer, or other immunomodulatory properties of the hemp plant. This is the closest to a bill that Tennessee has to a legal medical marijuana system that may be used as an affirmative defense if the patient is arrested with a cannabis product containing .09% THC or less.
Tennessee Licensing Requirements For Hemp
There is no doubt that since the 2018 Hemp Farming Act there has been an explosion in the numbers of people that have applied for and have been accepted to grow hemp all over the US and Tennessee is no exception. Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture laid out rules for hemp cultivators in the wake of the 2018 Hemp Farming Act. During 2019, there were more than 3,400 hemp growers in Tennessee that were licensed to do so, and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is said to still be accepting applications to become licensed hemp growers. Permits are required to transport plants and products at least three days in advance of making any movements.
Current Tennessee Laws Concerning CBD
If you have CBD products that contain 0.6% THC they are currently legal in Tennessee regarding possession. Patients enrolled in a clinical study by a four-year college or university may possess CBD oil that contains up to 0.9% THC, however, since there are no legal avenues for this for possession in Tennessee, it must be procured from another state. If you are proven to possess a CBD oil over the 0.6% THC content without evidence it was procured from another state, it will be considered as a Class C misdemeanor offense that could be punishable by fines up to $50 and up to 30 days in jail or both.