By J Gordon Curtis
With the federal government dragging its heels on legalizing Marijuana, cannabis legalization has fallen to the states. With a hodge-podge of laws and regulations, it's no surprise we get calls almost every day asking us “is cannabis legal in Tennessee?”
Since the answer is a bit more complex than “yes” or “no,” we wanted to take some time to flesh the issue of cannabis in Tennessee out. In this article, we’ll discuss the fight for Marijuana in Tennessee, where it’s going, and the legislation for cannabis in Tennessee.
What is Cannabis?
When asking about cannabis, it’s important to remember that more than one plant belongs to this classification. “Cannabis” can refer to either the non-intoxicating, CBD-rich plant or the THC-rich, intoxicating variety.
In the eyes of the law, the only thing that separates “hemp” from Marijuana is the level of THC contained within. Hemp transforms (like the carriage into a pumpkin at midnight) into an illicit plant once this limit goes above the .3% THC limit.
In Tennessee, Marijuana (defined as cannabis with over .3% THC) is still a schedule 1 drug. Therefore, it is not currently legal to buy, own, consume, or sell marijuana in Tennessee.
Is THC Legal in Tennessee?
This question is a bit murkier to answer because there is more than one type of THC. Hemp-derived cannabinoids are currently protected by law and can include forms of THC.
As such, other forms of THC have exploded into the marketplace. While there is no guarantee that they can stay on the market forever, they currently provide a legal option for THC in Tennessee.
Tennessee Decriminalization and Legalization Efforts
The democratic State Senator Heidi Campbell recently told WKRN:
[Marijuana is] just not the boogeyman it was set up to be when it was made illegal. It ends up being attacks on the poor and people of color.
She wasn’t saying this unprompted either, there’s legislation currently going through the United States House of Representatives for federal decriminalization. While this would be helpful on a national level, the state is tragically far behind many others in the nation.
The latest attempt at a state level was HB1968 which failed to make it even to a discussion stage this year. While it’s possible for cannabis legislation in Tennessee to come through, it seems unlikely to happen before a national step.
That’s not without trying though. Over 80% of Tennesseeans support some form of legalization. To that effect, some form of legislation seems to come forward about once a year to decree this fact to uninterested ears before dying out.
What if You’re Caught with Weed in Tennessee?
Since Marijuana is still a Schedule 1 Narcotic, it has the potential for just as harsh of treatment as getting caught with Methamphetamine. While many counties have decriminalized small amounts of Marijuana, it’s far from legal.
A first offense possession charge with a half ounce or less could result in up to a year of incarceration and a $250 fine. The potential for penalties only goes up from there.
Fines can reach up to $500k and imprisonment reaches up to 60 years in extreme cases.
What to do if You’re Caught with Marijuana in Tennessee
The correct answer to every question of getting in trouble with the law is: answer nothing and get a lawyer. They will offer the correct advice to any questions you may have and many offer free initial consultations to see if you have a case before moving forward.
This is true for anyone caught with any form of cannabis in Tennessee. Since the only difference between hemp and Marijuana requires lab testing, CBD flower could lead to an officer stopping and questioning or even detaining you.
Even if you are 100% innocent of wrongdoing, talking with the police is never a good idea without a lawyer present. The only person who will ever be on your side is the one you pay to be – hire a lawyer.
Where to Find Cannabis in Tennessee
What’s important when looking for Cannabis in Tennessee is to go with a retailer you can depend on. Luckily, it’s easy to see which ones you can trust by simply looking out for reporting.
As an unregulated product, there is a wide range of quality when it comes to cannabis. The provider with nothing to hide is the one that you should trust the most.
While the requirements for CBD reporting are quite low, Perfect Plant extensively tests every product on our shelves. It’s important to us that the product that you buy has an accurate label and is safely produced.
Perfect Plant Hemp Co offers cannabis options of all varieties available in safe, potent products. Check out our West Nashville or Germantown shops to speak with one of our cannabis experts on what’s right for you.Or, if you already know what you want, you can order directly online and we'll ship it to your doorstep.