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Tennessee: House, Senate Committees Approve Industrial Hemp Legislation

Lawmakers in Tennessee have introduced House Bill 2445 and Senate Bill 2495 which would reclassify industrial hemp as an agricultural product, and would authorize state regulators to begin the process of licensing farmers to grow hemp commercially. House Bill 2445 was recommended for passage by the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and referred to the House Finance, Ways & Means Committee. Senate Bill 2495 was recommended for passage by a unanimous vote in the Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

You can read the full text of these measures here and here.

Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Farmers worldwide grow hemp commercially for fiber, seed, and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including food and clothing. A 2013 white paper by the US Congressional Research Service states, “[T]he US market for hemp-based products has a highly dedicated and growing demand base.”

The American Farm Bureau endorsed ending the federal prohibition on industrial hemp at its annual meeting in January. Congress recently approved an amendment in the Farm Act allowing for states that have reclassified hemp as an agricultural product to engage in pilot projects involving the plant’s cultivation free from federal interference.

Please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ to contact your elected officials and urge them to support HB 2445 and SB 2495:

NORML will keep you updated as this legislation moves forward.

The NORML Team