CBD In Tennessee

Complete Buyers Guide


In December 2018, Congress passed the 2018 Farm Act. Within the act was language that legalized the cultivation of hemp and put the regulatory duties into the hands of the states. The measure also legalized the production and possession of CBD oil. In order to fall under the definition of hemp or hemp oil, plants and products derived from them must contain less than 0.3 percent THC, the compound in marijuana that causes a high. 

Then, in 2019, the Tennessee Legislature amended the hemp laws, simplifying the rules and regulations to ease the burden on growers. About half of the hemp existing regulations, including requirements for hemp seed acquisition and submission of yearly agronomic reports, were repealed and licensing structure was updated. 

Furthermore, CBD oil was officially made legal for all Tennesseans. Up until the new laws were passed, the only Tennessee residents that were technically permitted to possess CBD oil were those with a doctor’s recommendation.

According to state licensing data, five farms are licensed to grow more than 1,000 acres of hemp. And at least 37 Tennessee farms are licensed to grow 100 acres or more of hemp.

As a result of the surge of hemp production in Tennessee prices for CBD-rich hemp are falling fast. In the fall of 2019, hemp farmers from all over the country showed up to the International Hemp Auction and Market in Middle Tennessee. Hemp farmers, expecting bidding wars for their bulk products, were quite disappointed when bidders only offered about $6 per pound, one-quarter of the expected price and below farmers’ costs.

Another issue facing the Tennessee hemp and CBD industry is a lack of processing facilities.

That’s the background. Now let’s get into some detail on the most frequently asked questions regarding Tennessee hemp and CBD laws.

Tennessee hemp CBD oil FAQ | 2022

Is CBD oil legal in Tennessee?

Regardless of the fact that CBD oil was previously only legal for medical patients, shops in the state have been selling CBD oil products for the past few years. 

Before the 2019 hemp bill, there was quite a bit of confusion on the part of law enforcement officials as to whether or not CBD oil was, indeed, legal. In 2019, in an investigation named Operation Candy Crush, 23 CBD sellers in the state were accused of selling candy containing a derivative of marijuana. Shops were raided and padlocked, products were confiscated, and 21 people were indicted on drug dealing charges. A judge later dismissed the case when the state could not prove that the products contained more than 0.3 percent THC. 

Since the laws were revised in mid-2019 the confusion has subsided somewhat. However, law enforcement officials are now having trouble telling the difference between CBD oil derived from hemp and cannabis oils derived from marijuana. Also, Interestingly, smokable hemp (which looks and smells like marijuana) is legal in Tennessee, further complicating the enforcement of marijuana laws. 

So the bottom line is that CBD oil, assuming it is produced from hemp and contains under 0.3 percent THC, is legal for all Tennesseans.

Can doctors in Tennessee prescribe CBD oil?

CBD oil is not an FDA approved drug. And it probably never will be. As a result, it cannot be prescribed by doctors. 

There is, however, one exception. A drug called Epidiolex, which is essentially purified CBD, has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of a number of forms of childhood epilepsy. 

Although you cannot get a prescription for CBD oil, doctors in the state may recommend CBD oil for their patients. Patients that qualify for the state’s medical marijuana program are permitted to possess CBD oil that contains up to 0.9 percent THC, but they have to purchase it out of state. Interestingly, it’s illegal to bring it across state lines, but that’s the rule.

Everyone can feel free to purchase hemp-derived CBD oil and CBD-infused products such as CBD edibles, CBD beverages, and other CBD-containing products. Below we’ll tell you what products are available and where you can purchase them.

What medical conditions are being treated with CBD oil in Tennessee?

To qualify for the state’s medical marijuana laws and purchase CBD oil with up to 0.9 percent THC, patients must be diagnosed with an intractable seizure disorder such as epilepsy. They must also show that traditional treatments have been tried without success. 

That being said, dozens of medical conditions are being treated with hemp-derived CBD oil in Tennessee.

Where Can I legally buy CBD oil products online?

As long as you’re looking for hemp-derived CBD products, yes, Tennesseans are permitted to purchase CBD products online. One of the benefits is that you’ll find a far larger selection of product options to choose from. 

On the downside, there are a lot of unscrupulous companies selling inferior CBD oil products online. You really have to do your homework to find a brand name that offers quality CBD products.

What hemp CBD products are legally available in Tennessee?

Currently, all hemp-derived CBD products are legal in Tennessee. That includes smokable hemp flower. Most of these products, including the usual CBD oils and CBD infused edibles and topicals, can be purchased at stores within the state. Furthermore, a host of products are available online such as CBD inhalers, CBD patches, and other less common delivery methods. 

There is a caveat to this story. The FDA claims that the use of CBD in food products is not permitted. However, the FDA has not solidified its rules as of the end of 2019. If the ruling becomes official, we can expect the state to follow suit and prohibit the sale of edibles and beverages containing CBD. 

Some of the CBD products available at shops in Tennessee or online include:

Where can I legally buy CBD oil in Tennessee?

For a while, the number of shops selling CBD products in Tennessee was exploding. However, in recent months, as a result of the glut of products on the market, many shops have seen declining market share and have closed their doors. But there are still innumerable locations that sell legal CBD products in Tennessee. 

Aside from the small shops that specialize in CBD, a number of general retailers are also now offering CBD products. Dollar General has announced that it will be selling an assortment of topicals including creams, ointments, bath bombs, bath salts, and face masks. Neiman Marcus, Sephora, Vitamin Shoppe, Kroger, Barney’s DSW, CVS, American Eagle, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Walgreen’s have all announced that they will be selling CBD. 

Keep in mind, however, that if you’re a medical marijuana patient and you’re looking for CBD products containing more than the 0.3 percent THC limit, you’ll have to purchase your medicine from a state-licensed dispensary.

Can I legally grow hemp in Tennessee?

Not just anyone can grow hemp in their backyard in Tennessee. A license from the Department of Agriculture is required.  

License holders are required to submit to periodic and crop testing to assure that the crop is not producing levels of THC higher than 0.3 percent by dry weight. If a sample being tested exceeds the limit the entire crop must be destroyed. 

Furthermore, the movement of hemp plants or harvested hemp requires a permit from the Department of Agriculture. Licensees must submit a permit application at least three days in advance of the requested movement.

Tennessee hemp growing licenses are good for one year.

Can I sell CBD oil legally in Tennessee?

Other than the usual business licenses, no specific license is required to sell CBD oil in Tennessee. 

However, laws are being developed that will likely restrict the distribution of CBD products by requiring that they are tested for purity and potency in order to be sold legally in the state of Tennessee. 

We will keep you posted on any changes and updates to Tennessee CBD and hemp laws.

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