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New Tennessee law for cannabis and hemp sales putting some retailers on edge

Updated: Dec 25, 2023

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Tennessee cannabis and hemp retailers are concerned the industry is at risk of ending because of a new state law.

Before Senate Bill 378 was passed in April, hemp cannabis farmers were able to sell their flower products with limited restrictions. 

Farm to Med Owner Chris Sumrell said the plant makes up anywhere from 80 to 90-percent of his sales. Sumrell said the law is being misinterpreted.

“It really defines on the first page as hemp being anything less than .3 Delta 9 THC. The interpretation of the law takes that a step further and interprets it to be anything less than 0.3 total THC. That in turn takes our plant that the state permits us to grow, off the table for resale,” Sumrell said.

Sumrell said it is impossible to grow the plant and keep it at 0.3-percent total THC.

“You wouldn't feel any effects from a cannabis plant until you got upwards of 20-percent. There is a lot of leeway there. They could give us 10 or 15 or 8-percent and we could operate but at 0.3 we can't," Sumrell said.

He said the industry has been beneficial for too many Tennesseans


“Cannabis and hemp products can help with arthritis, it can help you sleep at night, and give loved ones comfort without having to use prescription narcotics,” Sumrell said.

He is concerned that people will turn to the black market to get the product they depend on.

Sumrell urges community members to voice their concerns to local legislators to help get the law fixed.



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