Understanding Hemp and Marijuana Laws in Tennessee

The state of Tennessee has distinct laws and regulations regarding the cultivation and use of Cannabis sativa, commonly known as hemp and marijuana. Both hemp and marijuana are derived from the same plant species but are distinguished by their tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. In Tennessee, hemp is legally defined as Cannabis sativa containing less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana is defined as Cannabis sativa with more than 0.3% THC content.

The legalization of hemp cultivation in Tennessee has been in effect since the passage of Public Chapter 916 in 2014, with subsequent amendments in 2019 by Public Chapter 87. This legislation authorized the Department of Agriculture to establish rules for implementing a hemp regulatory program. The program, operational since 2015, encompasses statutes, rules, protocols, and standard operating procedures (SOPs). For more information on the hemp regulatory program, visit the Tennessee State Government website.

While the cultivation of hemp is legal, the use of marijuana for non-medical purposes remains illegal in Tennessee. However, efforts are underway to change this. Legislation such as the “Free All Cannabis for Tennesseans Act” seeks to establish a regulatory structure for the cultivation, processing, and retail sale of marijuana and marijuana products, to be administered by the Department of Agriculture. This bill aims to amend various titles within the Tennessee Code Annotated. For more details on this proposed legislation, refer to the Tennessee General Assembly website.

The inconsistency in hemp and marijuana laws across different states poses challenges for law enforcement in Tennessee. The Tennessee Drug Division Task Force (TDDTF) manages programs with support from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) to address these challenges. For more insights into the Drug Investigation Division’s role in Tennessee, visit their official page.

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Understanding Hemp and Marijuana Laws in Tennessee

For inquiries related to hemp production in Tennessee, contact the Tennessee Department of Agriculture at [email protected] or call 615-837-5137. This department coordinates the rules and regulations of hemp production through Tennessee’s hemp program. Further information can be found on the Tennessee State Government website.

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