New Tennessee Policy may allow more State residents to consume marijuana

Tennessee legislators can’t get medical marijuana legislation passed to save their lives, but the state’s Bureau of Investigation has announced a new policy that may make it easier on cannabis consumers. The agency will stop testing quantities of marijuana that are under half an ounce.

The shift will supposedly make it prohibitively difficult for prosecutors to build a case against individuals charged with cannabis possession. Without evidence that the substance carried by individuals is cannabis, cops won’t have much to work with.


Hemp licenses issued by State 2019

  • The 29 U.S. states having reporting licensed hemp cultivation acreage total nearly half a million acres in combined cultivation land area, a massive increase over 2018's combined U.S. total of just over 100,000 acres.
  • Colorado leads the nation in hemp cultivation and processing land area with over 80,000 acres reported.
  • Oregon, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Montana lead in hemp program expansion efforts.
  • Tennessee leads in total hemp licenses issued in 2019.
  • At least 70% of the 2019 U.S. hemp harvest is intended for extract production.
  • California is poised to be the top-producing hemp state for both conventional and organic production as thousands of acres have already been planted in 2019.

Tennessee's new tool allows authorities to differentiate hemp from high-THC cannabis

After facing a load of approximately 10,000 cannabis-related cases to process, the state of Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) has established a two-step system of testing the product for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — a cannabis compound that causes intoxication — that takes just minutes.

Any cannabis containing more than 0.3 per cent of THC, which is the legal cut off point for whether the plant is defined as hemp, is considered illegal under federal and state law.


Fentanyl-laced cannabis cited as causing recent overdoses in Tennessee

Officials in Winchester, Tenn. last week responded to reports of three fentanyl overdoses. The powerful synthetic opioid was in cannabis in two of the cases, making it likely the individuals involved had no idea they were consuming the dangerous substance.


‘A new gold rush’: Tennessee hemp farming rises 1,100% in one year. Is it growing too fast?

More than 2,600 Tennessee farmers and businesses are licensed to grow hemp or CBD this spring — an increase of more than 1,100% in just one year.

But some experienced farmers say the state's newest cash crop is growing too fast. After years of pioneering Tennessee hemp, they say newcomers might be overextended and unprepared for the pitfalls of the alluring-yet-difficult crop.

“It’s like a new gold rush, and that’s not really a good thing,” said Bill Corbin, a Springfield farmer who is one of the veteran hemp growers in the state. “When that many people come into play so quickly, there are so many naive and gullible growers that are going to sign up with people who will promise them the moon.”


Tennessee medical marijuana bills are dead until 2020

Tennessee lawmakers have abruptly delayed all efforts to legalize medical marijuana until next year, abandoning several bills moments before the controversial topic was expected to be debated for the first time.

Sen. Steve Dickerson, a doctor who is one of the biggest advocates in the Tennessee legislature for medical marijuana, said during a Senate hearing Wednesday he was regrettably delaying all bills involving cannabis until 2020. The House also had rolled the bills until next year, Dickerson said.

Less than an hour before that hearing, Dickerson had intended to amend an existing bill to introduce a detailed proposal to legalize and regulate medical marijuana throughout Tennessee.


Tennessee bills protecting medical marijuana cardholders, possession up for debate

A bill protecting valid medical marijuana cardholders from other states when in Tennessee goes before the Criminal Justice Subcommittee on Wednesday.

SB260/HB234 would insure medical marijuana patients who are valid cardholders in other states would not be charged if they are found in possession of one-half ounce (14.175 grams) or less. Cardholders would also be okay to distribute under an ounce to another cardholder.


Coffee shop serves up CBD-oil infused lattes

Revelator Coffee Company began serving CBD oil-infused lattes in all four of its Birmingham locations on Monday, and has sold dozens of the drinks in the first two days.

The coffee shop charges $1 to add three drops of CBD oil to a drink. It's featured in the Golden Latte with Relyf CBD oil.

Cannabidiol, or CBD oil, which some people use as a treatment for physical ailments, is made from industrial hemp, which contains a tiny percentage of THC, the intoxicating substance found in marijuana.

CBD oil can also be derived from marijuana and the Alabama Legislature has allowed limited exceptions to the law against marijuana possession for the use of CBD oil.


Tennessee lawmaker proposes bill to legalize recreational marijuana

One state lawmaker said it's time to legalize recreational marijuana in Tennessee.

Recreational, let alone medical marijuana, are not yet legal in Tennessee.

"I think it's bad," said Christine Davis.

"I don't think recreational marijuana is nearly as dangerous as alcohol, which is already legal," said Kevin Papazian.

Sen. Sarah Kyle (D-District 30) of Memphis said now is the time for change. She's sponsoring a bill to legalize recreational marijuana.

"My whole point of bringing a bill to have marijuana available just like any alcohol is available is to have the discussion," said Kyle.

Kyle said the change is necessary for criminal justice reform.


Two marijuana decriminalization bills introduced in Tennessee

Two marijuana decriminalization bills have been introduced by lawmakers in the Tennessee legislature, according to media reports. One would decriminalize possession of less than one ounce of pot, while the other would protect holders of medical marijuana identification cards from other states. Both bills were sponsored in the Tennessee Senate by Democratic Sen. Sara Kyle and in the House of Representatives by fellow Democrat Rep. Gloria Johnson.


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