Tennessee Lawmaker Files Legislation to Tax and Regulate Cannabis, Including Delta-8
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Tennessee Lawmaker Files Legislation to Tax and Regulate Cannabis, Including Delta-8

The measure would limit sale of psychoactive hemp-derived products like delta-8 to those 21 and older.

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January 14, 2022

Republican Tennessee lawmaker Chris Hurt introduced legislation Jan. 11 that would regulate and tax cannabis products, including delta-8, in the state.

The measure, House Bill 1690, would regulate psychoactive hemp-derived cannabinoids, accounting for products that contain more than 0.1% total THC (or total amount of delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis, in products). According to the bill text, this includes, but is not limited to:

  • Delta-8 THC; 
  • Delta-10 THC;
  • Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC);
  • Tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCp); 
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol acetate ester (THCo); and 
  • Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv)

Essentially, “H.B. 1690 would do three things: create a licensing requirement for retailers and wholesalers, establish a 6.6% excise tax on the wholesale of hemp-derived cannabinoids and limit [the] sale of psychotropic hemp-derived products like delta-8 to those 21 and older,” according to the Nashville Post.

Hurt and Joe Kirkpatrick of the Tennessee Growers Coalition (TGC) collaborated to write the bill.

The measure would require wholesalers and retailers who sell such products to apply for an annual license through the state’s department of agriculture (TDA), which would cost $200. Based on the outline of the licensing structure, Kirkpatrick said he would expect to gather roughly $160,000 a year in fees, the Post reports.

Kirkpatrick also estimated that the 6.6% tax excise could generate $4-5 million in annual revenue for the state. According to the Post, Hurt and Kirkpatrick would like to see the money collected from fees and wholesale tax be used to help the TDA ensure product safety. 

Hurt and Kirkpatrick tell the Post no other state has measures to specifically regulate and tax the sale of hemp-derived cannabinoid products.

At this time, Hurt’s legislation does not yet have a state Senate sponsor, the Post reports.

Additionally, Kirkpatrick told the Post that this would not be the last cannabis-related measure introduced this year, and as the “TGC is in the final drafting stage with Rep. Bob Freeman on a more expansive bill that would legalize cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes,” which could be filed as early as next week.