Stunning scenery, the spectacular Smoky Mountains, the perpetually-rocking cities of Memphis and Nashville — the “Volunteer State” has plenty to offer its residents and visitors, including the chance to legally enjoy CBD.
You heard us right: CBD is legal in the great state of Tennessee. In 2018, the Farm Bill — also known as the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 — was signed into law, authorizing the commercial cultivation and use of low-THC, hemp-derived CBD on the federal level.
As of 2022, medicinal and recreational use of marijuana remains illegal in Tennessee, but residents of the Volunteer State are free to harvest, sell and purchase CBD.
While each state can impose its own regulations under this federal ruling, Tennessee adopted the law and its stipulations, giving folks throughout the state the legal right to cultivate, process, sell and purchase CBD products that adhere to federal and state criteria. Unlike several other states, smokable CBD — such as vape liquid — is also legal in Tennessee, provided that it doesn’t exceed the federal THC limit of 0.3% and is sold in a sealed container.
CBD Laws in Tennessee: What You Need to Know
The 2018 Farm Bill distinguished industrial hemp from marijuana, effectively removing it from its list of Controlled Substances. As of 2022, medicinal and recreational use of marijuana remains illegal in Tennessee, but residents of the Volunteer State are free to harvest, sell and purchase CBD — with a few caveats:
- Material – CBD products must be derived from industrial hemp — or strains of cannabis sativa that contain 0.3% or less of THC on a dry weight basis.
- Concentration – THC concentrations cannot exceed 0.3% in final CBD products either, which requires a careful extraction process. To help ensure you’re purchasing a legal CBD product in Tennessee, select a manufacturer that is transparent about their extraction measures and testing protocols.
- Labeling requirements – The 2018 Farm Bill gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the right to oversee the marketing of CBD products. To date, manufacturers are prohibited from making therapeutic claims or marketing their CBD products as dietary supplements. If you come across a CBD product in Tennessee that boldly asserts a medical claim, your best bet is to keep searching for a manufacturer that honors the FDA’s regulations — specifically, the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act).
- Licensing – Individuals in Tennessee who are interested in producing hemp-derived CBD must obtain a license from the state and consent to “reasonable” inspections of their crops and inventory. Applications to become a grower are available year-round
- Limits – There are no legal restrictions on the amount of CBD an individual can carry in Tennessee, as long as the CBD falls under the federal THC limits by weight.
Is CBD Legal in Tennessee?
Yes. Following the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived, low-THC CBD scored legal status in Tennessee. This has been a boon for a state that has struggled to implement a comprehensive Medical Marijuana Program for years. Here’s a brief look at CBD’s history in the Volunteer State:
- 2015 – Tennessee launched its hemp pilot program, allowing licensed growers to cultivate industrial hemp (albeit with restrictions), under the 2014 Farm Bill.
- 2016 – Tennessee signed Senate Bill 2125 into law, which drew a distinction between marijuana and hemp by classifying any cannabis material with 0.6% or less of THC as hemp when it’s grown, manufactured, distributed and possessed by approved four-year institutions for medical study.
- 2017 – Tennessee expanded the definition of and access to hemp products, provided they contain less than 0.3% of THC under House Bill 1164. Tennessee also submitted its hemp plan to the United States Department of Agriculture.
- 2018 – The Farm Bill was signed into law, legalizing low-THC, hemp-derived CBD at the federal level. Tennessee followed suit.
- 2020 – The USDA approved Tennessee’s hemp plan under the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program.
Can I Buy CBD in Tennessee?
Indeed. Tennesseans may purchase CBD products throughout the state, including pharmacies, health and wellness retailers, vape “lounges” and more.
When making a decision, be sure the product contains a Certificate of Analysis (COA), which verifies that it has undergone third-party testing and complies with federal regulations. Further, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers a list of quality CBD retailers in the state.
Can I Buy CBD Online?
Definitely — and, for many, this may be preferable.
Purchasing CBD from a quality online retailer provides you with the chance to browse a broad range of products, consult consumer CBD reviews and evaluate a company for its veracity, all from the comfort of your home.
To weed out shady, fly-by-night CBD retailers, search for companies, such as Zebra CBD, that offer clear, upfront information about their testing protocols and only use organic industrial hemp to create their products.
Can I Buy CBD at a Dispensary?
Yes, individuals may shop for CBD at dispensaries throughout Tennessee. Please note that some dispensaries may have an age requirement for entry and purchase.
Legal Status of CBD in Tennessee
Presently, low-THC, hemp-derived CBD is legal in Tennessee — for licensed growers and consumers. However, it’s important to keep in mind that federal and state laws regarding CBD are constantly evolving.
The information contained above is provided for educational and informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice. The provided information may not reflect current legal developments or information, and is not guaranteed to be correct, complete or current. We recommend checking our source(s) to see if the information or legal status have been revised since our content was published.
1. Is CBD legal in Tennessee?
Yes, CBD is legal in Tennessee. Growers and distributors must be licensed, but consumers do not need a prescription. Those who wish to use CBD that contains 0.3% or less of THC must receive a recommendation and diagnosis from a Tennessee-based physician.
2. How old do you have to be to buy CBD in Tennessee?
Currently, there are no legal age requirements to purchase low-THC, hemp-derived CBD — at the federal level and in Tennessee. However, there may be some limitations. Reputable online retailers typically only sell to those who are 18 and older, while vendors may use their discretion on the minimum age required to purchase CBD products.
3. Can I sell CBD products in Tennessee?
Yes, but only after you have obtained licensure through the state.
Congressional Research Service. The 2018 Farm Bill (P.L. 115-334): Summary and Side-by-Side Comparison. https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R45525
FDA. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD). https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd
Knox Mercury. East Tennessee’s Hemp Pioneers Attempt to Grow a New (and Newly Legal) Cash Crop. https://www.knoxmercury.com/2015/09/23/east-tennessees-hemp-pioneers-attempt-grow-new-newly-legal-cash-crop/
TN Department of Agriculture. New Rules for Tennessee’s Hemp Program. https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/news/2019/6/3/new-rules-for-tennessee-s-hemp-program.html
State of Tennessee. House Bill No. 1164. pc0369.pdf (tnsosfiles.com)
LegiScan. TN SB 2125. https://legiscan.com/TN/bill/SB2125/2015
U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA Approves Hemp Production Plans for Minnesota, Tennessee, Puerto Rico. https://www.ams.usda.gov/content/usda-approves-hemp-production-plans-minnesota-tennessee-puerto-rico