After last year’s failed attempt by the legislature to enact an outright ban on the new delta-8 and delta-10 THC products, Rep. Lamberth and Sen. Briggs have recently proposed HB 0403 / SB 0378, which seeks to regulate their production and sale instead. The bill was filed just last week, and would treat products containing “hemp-derived cannabinoids” in a fashion very similar to how tobacco and alcohol are marketed.
The bill proposes adding a new part to Title 47 (Agriculture and Horticulture), Chapter 27 (Hemp) of the Tennessee Code, with very familiar language that controls who is allowed to make, purchase, and possess anything that is defined in the part. It seeks to regulate products like anything “hemp derived” containing less than 0.3% delta-9, anything containing delta-8 or delta-10, along with other specific cannabinoids, isomers, and variants.
Much like alcohol, this section would make it an offense for adults to sell delta-8 to, or help buy delta-8 for, anyone under 21. Violating this part would be a Class A Misdemeanor.
This section targets those under 21 who buy, or try to buy, delta-8. Also a Class A Misdemeanor.
Like tobacco, this section would mandate that businesses selling delta-8 keep their products behind the counter, if the business is open to the general public. If entry to the business is limited to those over 21, like many liquor stores, this part wouldn’t apply to them.
This section puts Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture in charge of enforcing these laws, and requires them to submit annual reports to the legislature which will be made public on the department’s website.
This section details that there will be an additional 5% tax levied on the sale of “hemp-derived cannabinoids,” which will go directly to the Department of Agriculture, to be used exclusively for regulating the products controlled by this part.
This section details that you must be licensed in order to make or sell these products, as well as the process for obtaining and keeping licensure.
This section makes it an offense to engage in the business or making or selling these products without a license, another Class A Misdemeanor.
This section outlines that all products must be tested for dangerous toxins like “Heavy metals…Microbials…Pesticides,” etc.
This section mandates that all products be appropriately labeled with the normal ingredients, amounts, and safety warnings. It also says that each product will have a code that will link you to it’s testing information, including its batch, its completion date, and its method of analysis.
This section also details that marketing efforts are not allowed to include “characters or symbols known to appeal primarily to persons under twenty-one (21) years of age, including, but not limited to, superheroes, comic book characters, video game characters, television show characters, movie characters, mythical creatures, and unicorns.”
The final section explains that while the rest of the part does make allowances for who is allowed to buy, possess, and use these products, that this part will not excuse any dangerous or illegal actions that result from using the products. So, although this part says you could generally use delta-8, you still can’t drive while impaired by it, your employer doesn’t have to allow you to while working, private establishments don’t have to allow it, etc.
As the bill stands, if it passes, the first couple sections regulating the selling and buying to people over 21 years old would go into effect July 1st of this year. The rest would be effective January 1st, 2024.
Cannabis or cannabis products containing more than 0.3% delta-9 THC are still illegal in Tennessee, referenced as a Schedule VI controlled substances under §39-17-415. Because all of these different chemicals come from the same plant, it is often impossible to determine whether a suspected substance is legal or not using only your 5 senses. So if you have a case that involves the possession of cannabis material, it would be vital to have it tested, to see which specific chemicals it contains and how much there is. Our firm uses ReliaLab Testing, based out of Nashville, who offers a variety of services, including screening for the presence of cannabinoids. They offer the following options for testing suspected substances involved in your case:
For D-8, D-9, and D-10
Test Code F2018B—Cannabinoid Screening and Confirmation in Blood–$250.00
Test Code F3050B—Premium Cannabinoid Confirmation–$275.00
If your case has already been screened and is positive for cannabinoids, then we can proceed directly to the Premium Cannabinoid Confirmation and the cost is $275.00.
If the case has yet to be screened for cannabinoids at all, we start with the screen and confirmation (F2018B). If we get a confirmed positive, we’ll then add on the premium cannabinoid only if the screen revealed one of the cannabinoid analogs.
Methods are screening by LC-QTOF-MS, confirmation by LC/MS/MS.
** Shipping: $25.00
** Blood Sample Return if required: $35.00