MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Governor Bill Lee signed Senate Bill 0378 into law regulating certain hemp products like Delta-8 and Delta-10. From testing the product to increasing taxes on the product, the bill covers multiple changes to the selling of items with certain cannabinoids in them.
Tennessee House Rep. G.A. Hardaway is a sponsor of the bill on the House side.
“This gives us a chance to take a serious approach to hemp and CBD oil, and in doing so, to kind of get our foot in the door to start a real discussion — [an] intelligent discussion — about marijuana,” Hardaway said.
Once the bill goes into effect July 1, these products will have to be inspected by the Department of Agriculture, meaning dosages will be consistent each time someone buys a product.
Also, Delta-8 and Delta-10 can no longer be sold within a thousand feet of a K-12 school and must be behind the counter if people under the age of 21 shop at that location.
Local retailers say the increase in taxes may be a deterrent for some customers purchasing in stores, making it more dangerous in the long run.
“We really do care about people out here, and you know, the farther away the community gets pushed from this, the more we’re gonna have to deal with problems of incarceration,” Smokeology Smoke Shop employee Nathan Thomas said. “Because of people turning to the black market. Because they’re gonna use some sort of THC anyway, and we’d rather them do something that’s legal rather than not.”
Representative Hardaway said the fees associated with the new bill will be reassessed as soon as they’re able to get a look at how much revenue they’re bringing in from the fees and how much money is leftover.
“I can tell you that folks like me sitting on the committee will make sure that our small business owners — those who are in the retail end of it and those that are actually growing and in the wholesale end of it — that those individuals aren’t unfairly put upon with the new system that we have put in place,” Hardaway said.