Furthermore, cannabis oil itself is still considered a Class I drug by the federal government meaning that using cannabis oil in any state could still put users in violation of federal law. Although, for the time being, the federal government has largely decided to take a hands-off approach to the situation and not enforce the federal prohibition when it conflicts with state laws, there is no guarantee that such an approach will continue into the future.
The bill that was recently signed into law by Governor Bill Haslam allows for the use of cannabis oil in Tennessee in order to treat seizures caused by intractable epilepsy. Anybody who wants to use the oil, which is extracted from the marijuana plant, will have to obtain a prescription from a doctor licensed in Tennessee. Although research into cannabis oil’s effectiveness in treating seizures is ongoing, many people, particularly parents of young children suffering from epilepsy, claim that the substance has helped reduce the severity of seizures.
One complication of the law, however, is that the legislation does not allow for cannabis oil to be manufactured within Tennessee, meaning anybody who wishes to obtain the substance will have to get it from a state that has legalized its manufacture, such as Colorado.
Federal prohibition remains
Tennessee has officially legalized cannabis oil for limited medical reasons. While the law makes possession and use of cannabis oil legal in certain cases for treatment of intractable epilepsy, the legislation appears to open up a legal grey area for Tennessee families. Because marijuana laws are in flux both in Tennessee and throughout the United States, a debate has been sparked over whether Tennesseans who are in compliance with the state’s recently passed legislation could nonetheless be exposing themselves to federal prosecution for marijuana possession. With Tennessee lawmakers already considering another medical marijuana bill, the issue seems unlikely to die anytime soon.
That requirement already opens up a potentially legal pitfall for families in Tennessee. Within the medical marijuana community, a debate is ongoing about whether people who buy cannabis oil from out-of-state and bring it into Tennessee may be opening themselves up to criminal prosecution. While companies who import cannabis oil into Tennessee say that the federal Farm Bill allows for cannabis oil to be brought over state lines, others insist that the Controlled Substances Act, which prohibits such importation, supersedes the Farm Bill.
With the drug law debate ongoing, it can be confusing for most people to know where they stand when charged with a drug offense. For the time being, however, marijuana possession remains a state and federal offense in Tennessee. Anybody who has been charged with any drug offense, including those pertaining to marijuana, should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately in order to understand what the best way to respond to such charges may be.
“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.
He heads up the Botanical Medical Research Center at Middle Tennessee State University, legally cultivating hemp.
“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.
Rutherford County Sheriff’s deputies closed 23 stores after they were caught allegedly selling candy that contained CBD oil.
It may look like marijuana, but Altman is clear, “We do not grow marijuana.”
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.
Professor Altman was subpeonaed to testify in the case, if needed to explain to the judge the key difference between hemp and marijuana.