A new GOP-led bill is seeking to make sales of certain cannabis products illegal in Tennessee.
SB 0378, introduced by State senator Richard Briggs (R - Knoxville) bans the sale of products containing "hemp-derived cannabinoids," including Delta-8 THC, Delta-10 THC and THCp, to those under 21.
The measure would also prohibit the distribution of product samples in public places like streets, sidewalks and parks.
One of the bill's provisions imposes a 5% sales tax on the listed products, with money going into the state's general fund later to be used by the Department of Agriculture to utilize in the regulation of THC products. The legislation does not apply to CBD products and products with low amounts of THC.
"In Delta-8, Delta-9, and I think that one, the state has set certain standards for that, and need to be enforced, Briggs told reporters with WBIR last week. "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."
The bill stipulates that retailers need a license to sell products and to pay $250 per location, while producers will have to set aside $500 for a license. In addition, those sentenced for a drug-related felony would need to wait a decade after completing their sentence to get licensed.
GOP Vs. Dems On Rec Marijuana
Meanwhile, Briggs is raising concerns about the medical and recreational use of marijuana.
"I'm not in favor at all of the recreational marijuana and I have a lot of concerns about medical marijuana until we know more about it," he recently said. "I don't think that it should be generally available. And at least at this point until something changes."
Briggs' fellow GOP lawmaker from another chamber, Rep. Cameron Sexton also opposes adult-use marijuana but is more open to its medical use. He even believes that medical marijuana could be reviewed by House members this year.
"On the House, we're pretty close to passing medical marijuana," Sexton recently said on WBIR's Inside Tennessee.
On the other hand, the Democratic duo, Rep. Bob Freeman and Sen. Heidi Campbell are planning to file new legislation to legalize recreational marijuana.
"This bill will support medical and recreational cannabis use because many other states already have recreational use," Campbell said.
Photo: Courtesy of WikimediaImages, ganjaspliffstoreuk by Pixabay
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