Like many other states, Tennessee’s legalization of CBD and hemp-derived products is dependent on the amount of THC within the product. For this state in particular, the magic number is .09%– CBD and hemp products with more than .09% THC by volume constitute an illegal substance and remain absolutely prohibited under state law. But for CBD products—and there are many—that fall below this upper limit, Tennessee’s laws allow for manufacturing, distribution, and possession of CBD.
The main law of interest for Tennessee CBD users is likely Senate Bill 2531. This law created the first framework for CBD oil to be used in the medical context. The legislation stipulated that hospitals or universities would be allowed to supervise pilot studies on CBD oil. However, the law required that all marijuana needed to be cultivated by Tennessee Tech, which made the law functionally useless in creating a substantive framework for legalization and research.
Revision and Development
Legislators revised this troublesome law in 2015 when they passed Senate Bill 280. This amendment allowed consumers who had purchased CBD legally in another state to possess it without consequence within the state. While it might seem small, this revision opened the door for tens of thousands of users of CBD to possess it legally by simply purchasing it somewhere else and then bringing it home to Tennessee. However, the law also now required that an official “legal order of recommendation” be given to the patient from the state in question.
Lawmakers once again changed the original Senate Bill 2531 in 2016. This revision restricted patients further, this time stipulating that those Tennessee citizens possessing CBD oil must have both a legal order of recommendation and proof that they had a medical reason to possess the substance. The conditions upon which possession would be allowed remained restricted to either intractable seizures or an untreatable epilepsy.
Finally, a revision to the industrial hemp framework via House Bill 1164 came in 2017 to clear things up. This new law allowed hemp to be produced within Tennessee so long as it did not exceed .03% THC content. The law also concludes that low-THC hemp products do not fall under the category of marijuana, a scheduled substance in Tennessee.
Low-THC CBD in Tennessee
Consumers looking to access CBD below the legal upper limit of .03% THC content can find it for-sale in stores all over the state. Both the laws passed in Tennessee and the Federal Farm Bill of 2014 allow for the sale of these products. To be safe, readers searching for CBD should further research the laws of their specific jurisdiction.