Man caught traveling with 80 pounds of weed disguised as Christmas presents

Cannabis culture includes a long, rich, and often times very interesting history of smuggling. And in many cases, these stories involve all sorts of creative methods for sneaking weed where it is not allowed.

Looks like this history has another incident to add to the books. This time, a man attempting to fly out of Nashville International Airport was caught with weed wrapped up to look like Christmas gifts.


Tennessee lawmakers weigh legalizing medical marijuana

Local lawmakers said they want more information before medical marijuana is legalized.

Officials say several medical marijuana bills are in development, but Knoxville and East Tennessee leaders said they want FDA approval before pursuing legalization.

Metro Drug Coalition Executive Director Karen Pershing is one of those leaders. The MDC is a joint effort by the City of Knoxville and Knox County meant to reduce drug and alcohol abuse.

"We feel like science should drive whether or not something becomes a medicine in this country," Pershing said. "And right now, there's not research to support that there is medicinal benefit to marijuana."

Pershing said the MDC is recommending against legalizing medical marijuana.


The business of hemp in the state of Tennessee

Hemp, which is closely related to marijuana but has no psychoactive effect, has been legal to grow in Tennessee for a little more than five years through a closely monitored pilot program.


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.


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