NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Questions surrounding the closure of multiple Rutherford County businesses have continued; so NewsChannel 5 found out what is legal and illegal about CBD oil in Tennessee.
Rutherford County Sheriff's deputies closed 23 stores after they were caught allegedly selling candy that contained CBD oil.
It was an act that caused controversy and questions. Experts said it's important to clear up the confusion on what's legal and what's not when it comes to cannibas products.
"CBD primarily comes from hemp and if you have hemp-derived CBD products that is perfectly legal in the U.S. and Tennessee," said professor Elliot Altman, who is one of the foremost experts on CBD oil in Tennessee.
He heads up the Botanical Medical Research Center at Middle Tennessee State University, legally cultivating hemp.
It may look like marijuana, but Altman is clear, "We do not grow marijuana."
So, if hemp and CBD oil made from hemp is legal why did law enforcement conduct Operation Candy Crush?
Plenty of people know about CBD, using it for everything from a sleep aid to a pain reliever. Such CBD products sold legally in Tennessee do not contain enough product to create a high. It comes from hemp, not marijuana
"The problem is the misconception and confusion is that they both come from the same plant - cannabis," said Altman.
The defendants in Candy Crush claimed they've done nothing wrong.
Professor Altman was subpeonaed to testify in the case, if needed to explain to the judge the key difference between hemp and marijuana.
"The legal definition is hemp is less than point three percent THC which is the psychotropic agent. Marijuana is point three percent or greater," said Altman.
Properly licensed products made with CBD from a hemp plant is legal in Tennessee and available without a prescription.