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Smithville hemp business kicked out of jamboree on Public Square

Posted: 5:29 PM, Jul 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-09 20:38:13-04
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SMITHVILLE, Tenn. — A Smithville hemp shop is considering legal action after being kicked out of the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree over the weekend.

The owners of Smithville Hemp Dispensary said they were asked to leave the event after signing up last minute for a booth at the event.

The dispensary sells hemp flower, smoking devices and products containing CBD, a chemical derived from the plant.

"We were shocked when they come up and asked everyone to leave, because we hadn't received any kind of negative comments," said co-owner Christy Lunsford.

Lunsford said three people with the jamboree and two Smithville police officers approached her after about four or five hours of the event.

"I asked them why and they said because of my paraphernalia," she said. "I asked them if I could put my smokes up and my pipes up and I could continue selling my edibles and my salve, and they told me no. They would just rather me leave."

Lunsford said before coming to the festival, she contacted the person in charge of the vendors and told them exactly what they would be selling at the festival. However, the president of the jamboree, Sam Stout, said it's likely the person who Lunsford talked with didn't understand what the business would be bringing.

Hemp is federally legal, as well as the products to smoke hemp and CBD oils and tinctures. However, Stout said the products did not fit the tone of a family friendly festival, comparing them to pornography or alcohol, which are both also not allowed.

Smithville Police Chief Mark Collins said he didn't see anything illegal at the booth and the officers only accompanied the members of the jamboree to keep the peace. He said he would not refer to the hemp pipes and flower as paraphernalia because they had not been used with illegal drugs.

"All of this happened in front of the customers. In front of the whole community," said Lunsford. "I've had a lot of people ask me about CBD oil since this happened. So, it's got people wanting to get educated about it."

She said most people who buy CBD oil are using it to treat medical issues.

Lunsford was issued a refund of the $135 for the booth space.

Stout said the situation was handled the only way he knew how.