New Bill May Finally Regulate Tennessee’s Cannabis Industry

Image Credit: Vaping360 / CC

The Tennessee Conservative [By Adelia Kirchner] –

State legislators are continuing last year’s efforts to regulate the sale and production of delta-8 across Tennessee.

Similar regulations were proposed during Tennessee’s 2022 legislative session. However, the session came to an end before anything could come out of that particular bill

Tennessee is currently one of eleven states that has not yet legalized marijuana, decriminalized marijuana, or established systems for medical marijuana usage. 

However, stores selling hemp-derived cannabinoid products like delta-8 and delta-10 have been popping up across the state for several years now. As of January 24th, 2023, a new bill to regulate these hemp-derived cannabinoid products, has been introduced by House Majority Leader Rep. William Lamberth (R-Portland-District 44) as HB0403.

The Senate version of this bill, SB0378, is being carried by Sen. Richard Briggs (R-Knoxville-District 7). 

This legislation contains three major points of regulation concerning the state’s cannabis industry. It would effectively do the following:

1 – Ban the sale of hemp-derived cannabinoid products to those under 21 years of age.

2 – Add a 5% sales tax to any hemp-derived cannabinoid products sold in a store.

3 – Create licensing and quality testing processes, as well as regulatory and enforcement processes to be overseen by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

Since the industry is not regulated, there are currently no age restrictions on who can purchase these products. Although ethics would suggest that many businesses are already adhering to the proposed age requirement, there are no laws to that effect, which may be cause for concern to parents across the state.

The legislation would also require that products be properly labeled with a list of ingredients, possible allergens, nutritional facts, along with the phrases, “Cannabis use while pregnant or breastfeeding may be harmful.” And “Consumption of certain cannabinoids impairs your ability to drive and operate heavy machinery. Please use extreme caution.”

Tennessee legislators have been torn on what the better move is, to ban the existing cannabis industry or to regulate it.

Attempts to flat-out ban the industry seem to have been largely blocked by budgetary concerns, as a fiscal review by the Tennessee General Assembly found that the production and selling of products like delta-8, added around $180 million in value to the state of Tennessee.

On the flipside, Republican legislators have been reluctant to regulate the industry for fear that they would be simultaneously endorsing it. 

When the issue was discussed last year, several business owners like Michael Solomon of The Holistic Connection in South Nashville and Derek Besenius, CEO of LabCanna dispensary in East Nashville, were looking forward to possibly regulating the industry.

Responsible business owners already follow many of the practices outlined in HB0403, and properly regulating the industry would protect Tennesseans from unethical industry practices.

Both HB0403 and SB0378 have yet to receive committee assignments at this time, but Sen. Briggs believes that he will be able to garner adequate support when it comes to the Senate.

About the Author: Adelia Kirchner is a Tennessee resident and reporter for the Tennessee Conservative. Currently the host of Subtle Rampage Podcast, she has also worked for the South Dakota State Legislature and interned for Senator Bill Hagerty’s Office in Nashville, Tennessee.

2 thoughts on “New Bill May Finally Regulate Tennessee’s Cannabis Industry

  • January 27, 2023 at 6:37 pm

    If this state is going to regulate everything cannabis is only going to further citizens to purchase it other ways as always. Some people use this as medical uses instead of pharmaceutical drugs. No one fusses about alcohol overuse and its2 more dangerous than cannabis use.

  • January 28, 2023 at 2:26 pm

    I have been impressed with the responsible handling of cannabis products in almost every store I’ve encountered. There is an honest desire to help while maintaining integrity as business owners and not allowing minors to purchase products. The problem our legislators seem to ignore is that banning or even strongly regulating a product does not eliminate the evil nature of those that would use the products inappropriately. If legislators do not stop and educate themselves on the holistic benefits of products they tend to jump on the bandwagon of control with no thought to the benefits of a product. At 60 years of age I’ve had to re think my views on many health and medical issues. Our acceptance of the “wisdom” of our government regulatory agencies has led us down a path of ignorance where health is not the emphasis, but only a desire to increase our dependence on “approved drugs” that have a list of side effects that are overwhelming.
    All you need to do is look at the “approved” FDA list to realize they are not working for the benefit of our nations health.


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