Bill could ban Delta 8 THC products from Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – There are two bills to regulate Delta 8 THC in the state legislature, although one would ban Tennessee products.

Delta 8 is made from hemp. Some people use it for pain relief or other medical purposes, but it also has psychoactive effects.

Although similar to Delta 9 THC, the compound in marijuana that gets a person high, it is federally legal.

It’s fairly easy to find Delta 8 products in stores across Tennessee.

It is usually available at tobacco shops or CBD and hemp stores.

As a relatively new product, there is now an effort to regulate it.

“We think it can be managed, really through the rule-making process. Instead of putting arbitrary limits on growers, growers and manufacturers,” said Kelley Hess, executive director of the Tennessee Growers Coalition.

The group is behind HB1690. It allows regulation of Delta 8 by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. It raises the purchase age to 21 and adds a tax on wholesale products.

However, another bill is under consideration this year.

This would prohibit the sale of any hemp product with a THC content above 0.3%.

Effectively eliminate all Delta 8 products statewide.

Representative Will Lamberth is the sponsor of HB 1927.

“It’s very disturbing to hear these stories…of a child picking up a product that’s not properly labelled, not being properly inspected, not being properly handled, picking it up and goes to the ER because it has a very high THC effect,” Lamberth said.

The bill also adds criminal penalties for anyone in possession of Delta 8, as it would now be classified as weed. The bill does not cite specific cases or data where children have been sent to hospital or permanently injured as a result of the enclosure.

Hess said that’s not how it should be handled.

A bill like Lamberth’s could have a big impact on hemp growers, as it could force them to harvest their crop early to avoid being technically in possession of marijuana.

“It would hurt producers, it would hurt every aspect of the industry,” Hess said. “Particularly consumers.”

Both Hess and Rep. Lamberth said their goal is to make sure Tennessean understands what’s in the product. HB1690 would give the ability to set rules to the Ministry of Agriculture which could set dosage requirements and other rules to keep any edible product out of reach of children.

The two bills would impact the state financially in opposite ways. HB1927 would lose the state about seven million dollars in tax revenue.

HB 1690 would have a positive financial impact due to the additional tax.

1690 is also further along in the committee process than 1927. The latter is due in committee on March 30.

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