Nashville Business Journal: A Newly Legal Hemp Industry is Taking Root in Tennessee

Articles / Publications

In an article published on June 7 in the Nashville Business Journal, Tucker Herndon and Nicole Keefe provide insight on the newly legal hemp industry in the state of Tennessee.

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill) categorizes hemp as an agricultural commodity regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Prior to enactment of the Farm Bill, all cannabis sativa plants and products, including products containing cannabidiol (CBD), were regulated by the Drug Enforcement Agency due to being expressly included in the definition of “marihuana” under the Controlled Substances Act.

The Bill redefines “hemp” to ensure the dividing line between hemp and marihuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level. It also allows states to become the primary regulators of hemp cultivation by submitting an oversight plan to the USDA, however, anyone who engages in hemp production without proper licensure will be subject to penalties, and plans are expected to be in place for the 2020 growing season.

Notably, the Bill does not affect the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authority over products containing CBD or hemp.

“Despite its current stance, FDA nevertheless recognizes the significant interest and potential opportunities of cannabis derived compounds and continues to consider efficient pathways for lawful production and marketing,” Tucker and Keefe clarify.

Dating back to 2016, Tennessee has been proactive in capitalizing on the hemp industry and we can expect updates as the current year progresses.

Subscribers may access the full article here.

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