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Volume XII, Number 145

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Tennessee Lawmakers to Consider Multiple Cannabis Proposals

Only days ago, we discussed the prospects for cannabis reform in Tennessee. And lawmakers are already pushing such reform in the early days of this legislative session.

On the hemp front, Rep. Chris Hurt filed House Bill 1690 last week in an effort, he said, to “legitimize” the hemp industry. HB1690 would (1) create a licensing requirement for retailers and wholesalers; (2) establish a tax on the wholesale of hemp-derived cannabinoids; and (3) limit the sale of psychotropic hemp-derived products like Delta-8 to those 21 and older.

According to the Tennessee Growers Coalition, which collaborated with Hurt on the bill, the state could collect $160,000 annually in licensing fees and as much as $4–5 million in annual tax revenue.

On the marijuana front, the Nashville Post reported that Rep. Bob Freeman is soon expected to file a more expansive bill that would legalize marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes. According to Freeman, the so-called FACT Act would “create the best cannabis program in America much like we have created for the hemp industry in Tennessee.” The upcoming bill would include “retroactive criminal justice reform,” tax revenue for rural and minority business development and support for Tennessee farms, among other features touted by Freeman. The proposal “could be a game changer for Tennessee,” he added.

It is too soon to tell whether either of these proposals will become law, but they are strong indicators that the Legislature will be forced to squarely address the question of cannabis reform during this legislative session. With public polling showing more than 80% support for reform, advocates finally have a reason for optimism in Tennessee.

© 2022 Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 18
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About this Author

Whitt Steineker Cannabis Attorney Bradley Birmingham
Partner

Whitt Steineker has devoted his legal career to representing companies that provide a wide range of goods and services. He provides clients of all types with litigation counsel, transactional advice, and practical strategies for growth. Whitt advises clients of all sizes—from multinational corporations to local businesses—in transactional and litigation matters in jurisdictions across the country and around the world.

As co-chair of Bradley’s Cannabis Industry team, Whitt represents clients on a wide range of cannabis issues. In addition to...

205-521-8401
J. Hunter Robinson Commercial Litigation Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
Associate

Hunter Robinson represents clients in commercial litigation and compliance-related matters across the country. His litigation practice focuses on representing financial institutions in lender-liability, title, and business disputes, including class actions. Hunter represents mortgage servicers and lenders in suits arising from repurchase demands, and defends those entities in litigation involving alleged violations of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), and the Fair Credit Reporting...

615-252-2328
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