Advocates continue push for Delta-8, hemp regulation in Tennessee

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Posted at 10:01 PM, Feb 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 11:43:55-05

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — At Green Daisy in Franklin you'll find a variety of CBD and hemp products. "More and more people are understanding the true value of what cannabis products can provide," said owner Rodney Croteau.

But one product in particular seems to be most popular.

"Recently in the last year, year and a half, the Delta-8 has really come out in droves and we spent a large part of our time educating people, not just on CBD but now Delta-8," said Croteau.

Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive substance found in Cannabis similar to Delta-9, the compound in cannabis that makes people high. "But Delta-8 is its cousin we'll call it," said said Croteau. "It's less intense, less potent but provides a lot of the same medicinal elements that Delta-9 provides".

Now a proposed bill would impact the sale and purchase of products containing intoxicating cannabinoids derived from hemp, like Delta-8.

"It's to legalize and regulate hemp derived cannabinoids, to tax them and to make sure that children and people under 21 aren't consuming those products," said President and Chief Lobbyist for the Tennessee Growers Coalition, Joe Kirkpatrick.

Advocates say the bill would target black market sales and weed out bad actors.

Croteau said, "regulation is necessary to give people confidence that the products that they're buying they know that they're being watched, that they're being protected, that they're being investigated and making sure that what's in the products are what the vendors and product companies say they're in them and we vetted everything."

The bill would also require retailers and wholesalers to be licensed, and it would tax products containing hemp-derived cannabinoids at a rate of 6.6%.

"This tax would raise three to five million dollars annually and the license fees will raise- we estimate- 1.6 million dollars a year," said Kirkpatrick.

Advocates argue the legislation will bring more legitimacy and credibility to the industry.