Taxation and legalization both discussed around cannabis

Posted at 9:16 PM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 07:02:29-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — At the same time some lawmakers consider medical cannabis legalization, there's also a bill filed to tax cannabis products.

State Republican Rep. Chris Hurt filed a bill to tax anything made from cannabis in Tennessee.

That includes Delta-8 THC, which is made from CBD and has similar psychoactive effects to Delta-9 THC, the compound in cannabis that makes people high. The bill also makes the legal age to purchase Delta-8 to 21 years old.

The tax rate is 6.6%.

"We think the industry is ready to start producing some revenue in order to have some oversight and bring legitimacy and credibility to [it]," said Rep. Hurt.

Other lawmakers are also considering bills for medical marijuana legalization.

Rep. Bryan Terry, a Murfreesboro Republican and doctor, plans to file the bill. He's taking into account a recommendation from the Medical Cannabis Taskforce, but lawmakers don't have to follow their advice.

The idea for cannabis taxation comes from Tennessee Growers Coalition.

"The reason we want it, is because we want to be good citizens and these products, the Delta 8 and the other hemp-derived THC are really all over the place," said Joe Kirkpatrick, president of TGC. "We want to make sure like we did with smokable hemp to make those 21 plus. These do have psychoactive effects. People need to take caution when they take them and children don't need to have them."

There's also a licensing portion of the bill. Kirkpatrick said the state could benefit from millions of dollars of revenue.