At a press conference in Tennessee last February, local Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh stood behind a podium to announce that state law enforcement, together with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the FBI, had raided 23 local stores. Fitzhugh alleged the stores were selling products “resembling candy and containing a marijuana derivative.”
In fact, the candies contained a derivative of industrial hemp known as CBD, or cannabidiol. Under Tennessee law it’s completely legal.
Tennessee is one of 34 states, including Colorado, that have enacted state law allowing for the cultivation of hemp. The Agricultural Act of 2014 also permits hemp as long as it contains less than 0.03 percent of the psychoactive compound THC.
Local media reported the charges against all 23 Tennessee businesses were later dropped, but there is still opportunity for confusion by law enforcement.
On May 1, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the hemp industry’s challenge of a new DEA rule. Enacted in January, the rule established a drug code for marijuana extracts and defines extracts from any plant of the genus Cannabis as