The cultivation of industrial hemp is now legal in Tennessee, thanks to House Bill 2445 officially becoming law yesterday, July 1st. Under the new law, individuals in Tennessee will be allowed to legally grow hemp, given it has 0.3% THC or less, and they register with the state’s Department of Agriculture.
David Waddell, Administrative Manager for the Department of Agriculture’s Consumer and Industries Services Division, tells us that the Department has yet to finalize the registration process, meaning that people can’t yet apply to become a licensed hemp cultivator. However, Waddell says; “Our goal is to have everything in place by the first of the year, so everyone has time to get their crop in next year.”
According to recent congressional research, the United States imports roughly half a billion dollars in hemp from other countries while retaining the illegality of its cultivation amongst its own farmers. The same research estimates the hemp market to consist of over 25,000 various products.
A bipartisan amendment approved in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year would prevent the federal government from interfering with the state-level legalization of hemp. The provision is expected to receive a vote in the Senate in the coming weeks.