CBD Laws

BARELY LEGAL: Explaining Confusing CBD Laws


CHATANUGA, Tennessee (WDEF) – Although CBD is becoming quite popular, the laws associated with it are very confusing – especially if you live near a state border.

In part I of our Barely legal series, News 12 talks about the potential health benefits of this growing trend.

Part II News 12 discusses the latest laws in Tennessee and Georgia and what to look out for if you plan to use something with CBD in it.

“Marijuana is illegal. However, hemp is not. Hemp is safe. Hemp is affordable and hemp helps everyone, “said Elisha Milan, owner of Grass Roots Health.

Milan says the benefits of cannabis are behind this CBD craze, and although some progress has been made, various laws across the country have yet to catch up.

Attorney McCracken Poston, who represents clients in both Tennessee and Georgia, agrees that the laws are not black and white.

“We have this set of laws, and we’re up here in the corner with four states pretty close and each with a different rule, and that can be problematic,” Poston said.

Milan says Georgia’s laws are tougher now than they are in Tennessee.

“The possibility of not buying flowers in the state of Georgia directly affects those with post-traumatic stress disorder as veterans,” said Milan. “It affects them unevenly because they need something that provides immediate relief. Smoking hemp in the form of flowers gives immediate relief for the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

Despite these restrictions, earlier this month Gov. Brian Kemp signed the Georgia Hemp Growing Act or the Hemp Growing Act 213. It legalized licensed hemp growing, as in Tennessee.

CBD oil is not yet a defined term in Georgian law. We are told that hemp products usually cannot contain more than 0.3% THC when produced in accordance with the Hemp Growing Act.

“I find this very stressful for anyone trying to figure out if you’re going to have to test every bottle someone has with them.” This will take time in the labs. Or will you rely on the label? Will you require it to be on the label, even though nothing is prescribed? So we will have a lot of growing pain, no pun, according to this law, “Poston said.

As for Tennessee, Milan says it must also meet the state standard of 0.3% or less THC.

“This is really important for all our products,” she said. “Anyone who buys any type of product in Tennessee should be able to talk to the person from whom they purchase their product and receive a laboratory report or confirmation that the product they are buying does not exceed the legal limit of THC.”

Milan says they have a lab report on every item they sell in her store and have a good working relationship with the Chattanooga police department.

“We transport all the products directly to the Chattanooga police station before we bring them into our store,” Milan said. “It is extremely important for us to have a good, open relationship with the police department and for them to see that we are taking due care to transport only legal products here in Tennessee.”

If someone buys a flower product from Grass Roots Health, it is placed in a sealed container.

“While it is sealed, we can guarantee for this customer that what he bought does not contain THC,” said Milan.

She says some of her clients have been stopped at before, but were willing to show employees what they have.

Poston says that although hemp is legal, you should still use CBD at your own risk. Depending on how strict the law enforcement officer is, you may be arrested.

“They can arrest you on suspicion,” Poston said. “You can have it – we called it rock candy when we were kids. It’s just crystallized sugar. But a police officer can see this and assume it’s crack or methamphetamine, and may arrest you on suspicion of possession of crack cocaine or methamphetamine. This is the candy from the day you received it. You shouldn’t have put it in that zippered bag, but it’s candy all the way to the crime lab. Until you test it and this report does not return, you are accused of a crime.

As CBD continues to become more popular, Milan says be careful what you buy and where you buy it.

“It is extremely important that you do not buy your CBD online,” she said. “There are a lot of counterfeit products and you need to go to a specific supplier who can take you through all the lab reports they have and check that you are not accepting a counterfeit product.

Poston says he believes these cannabis laws will eventually pave the way for legalizing marijuana.

“I think it’s just something that people want, and they come up with a lot of creative ways to get it,” he said. “If that’s the way it’s ultimately pushed out, then that’s going to be the way it’s going to go, and that seems to be what we’re in the middle of now.”

“If this happens in the end here in our state, great!” If not, well, we are still here to help people and we will be here independently, “said Milan.

Poston says until the laws become more consistent, if you have CBD or hemp, bring documentation with you, keep prescription bottles if they come in them, and don’t share or sell the products.





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