NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State senator Richard Briggs (R - Knoxville) introduced a bill on Tuesday that would add regulations for cannabis products that many people can buy in Tennessee. Those products include Delta-8 THC, Delta-10 THC and THCp.
The bill is SB 0378. It does not include CBD products or other products that generally do not have significant amounts of THC.
The bill would make it illegal to sell products containing a "hemp-derived cannabinoid" to people under 21 years old and would also make it explicitly illegal to distribute samples of those products on a public street, sidewalk or in a public park.
"I would love for some folks that have put forth this bill to come into a shop and see that it is not the wild, wild west," said Andy Chesney, who owns a hemp shop. "To put that type of responsibility on the retailer, it seems misguided."
It would also add a 5% sales tax on the listed products. That money would be deposited into a special account in the state general fund and allocated to the Department of Agriculture to be used for regulating THC products.
"What this bill would do is legislate several products out of existence," said Chesney.
Retailers will also need to get a license to sell the products. Producers will need to pay $500 for a license, while retailers will need to pay $250 per location. Anyone who was sentenced for a drug-related felony would also need to wait a decade after finishing their sentence before they could get a license.
"In Delta-8, Delta-9, and I think that one, the state has set certain standards for that, and need to be enforced. The other thing is that they definitely need to be kept out of the hands of young people. And they even have vape-type things and gummies and all sorts. They can be very dangerous if a baby gets a hold of it," said Briggs.
Briggs spoke at length about the bill and a variety of other topics with Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally, as well as reporters with WBIR.