Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Tennessee? (April 2022)

By | last updated August 16, 2022

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Delta 8 is legal in Tennessee. The state failed to pass HB 1927, which would create regulations for intoxicating hemp-derived products like delta-8 THC and HHC.

Here’s a closer look at delta 8 legality in the Volunteer State. 

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Tennessee Delta-8 THC Laws

Hemp products are legal in Tennessee since 2019. According to Senate Bill 357:

“Hemp” means the plant cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) on a dry weight basis

This section does not categorize hemp, as defined in $ 43-27-101, as a controlled substance.

 “Marijuana” also does not include hemp, as defined in $ 43-27-101

Tennessee SB357

Tennessee lawmakers tried to pass House Bill 1927 in April 2022, which would create new regulations for intoxicating cannabinoid products derived from hemp, including delta-8, delta-10, and HHC. The bill restricts delta-8 and other hemp-derived intoxicating products to adults aged 21 or older and requires hemp companies to have their products tested by an accredited laboratory.

However, the bill did not pass. We’ve included the key parts of the bill below (because it’s likely that lawmakers will try to pass it again):

The purpose of this part is to regulate the sale and distribution of products containing a hemp-derived cannabinoid.

“Hemp-derived cannabinoid”: (A) Means:

(i) A cannabinoid other than delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or an isomer derived from such cannabinoid, that is derived from hemp in a concentration of more than one-tenth of one percent (0.1%); or

(ii) A hemp-derived product containing delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol in a concentration of three tenths of one percent (0.3%) or less on a dry weight basis;

(B) Includes, but is not limited to: (i) Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol; (ii) Delta-10 tetrahydrocannabinol; (iii) Hexahydrocannabinol…

A product containing a hemp-derived cannabinoid must be tested after manufacture and before being mixed, transformed, diluted, or poured into another product to determine the presence and amounts of the following:

(1) Cannabinoids; – 7 – 017338 (2) Heavy metals; (3) Microbials; (4) Mycotoxins; (5) Pesticides; and (6) Residual solvents.

(b) A manufacturer or retailer must contract with a third-party laboratory to provide the testing required by subsection (a). A third-party laboratory performing such testing must be ISO 17025 accredited and registered with the United States drug enforcement agency.

Tennessee House Bill 1927

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta 8 is a form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the marijuana compound that gets you high. Cannabis plants contain high levels of delta-9, a slightly different type of THC.

Delta 8 can produce the same effects as delta 9 but they’re not as strong (1). Its natural levels in cannabis are low so most manufacturers make delta 8 by converting hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD).

Why Delta-8 THC is Federally Legal

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp products nationwide. It defines hemp as cannabis with no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC.

Since this definition fails to mention any other forms of THC, hemp-derived delta-8 THC is legal. Most of the delta 8 on the market is made from CBD through a chemical isomerization process.

States Where Delta-8 THC is Illegal

Every state can make its own regulations and laws for delta 8 products.

Delta-8 THC is currently illegal in 14 states: Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah, and Washington.

The Future of Delta 8 in Tennessee

Delta 8 and other hemp-derived alternative cannabinoid products remain legal in Tennessee. But it’s possible that Tennessee lawmakers will try to pass HB 1927 in the coming years, or even amend it to ban delta-8 THC and other alternative cannabinoids entirely (as they originally intended).

We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

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