RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Hemp Industries Association is speaking out against Rutherford County for closing 23 businesses for selling CBD products.
The nonprofit says the DA and law enforcement could be misinformed.
Tennessee Hemp Industries Association President Joe Fitzpatrick believes they do not quite understand the difference between CBD derived from Hemp plants and THC from marijuana.
“I think the most important distinction to make is what product is derived from industrial hemp and what products are derived from marijuana because if they are derived from industrial hemp Governor Haslam signed the bill and it had unanimous support in both chambers of the state legislature to make any product derived from industrial hemp legal for ingestable or topical use. And marijuana products are simply not legal,” Kirkpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick said he’s been in communication with an attorney for one of the manufacturers of CBD products, who says they can prove their product is made from the Hemp plant.
“The attorney for the manufacturer is claiming that the product, that they can prove a chain of custody that will show the products that were seized in these apparently legal businesses were padlocked were carrying a product that is derived from industrial hemp making it fully and completely legal and safe,” he said.
Rutherford county lawmen from Smyrna, La Verne and Murfreesboro raided 23 business in the county Monday.
Undercover officers purchased CBD based oils and gummies laced with cannabidoil.
“The TBI has certified it as containing a Schedule VI controlled substance,” Rutherford County District Attorney General Jennings Jones said.
News 2 was able to obtain several copies of the judge’s petition which allowed the businesses to be padlocked.
Included is an official forensic chemistry report, that determined four of the products tested from Cloud 9 Hemi contained Cannabidiol, and listed it as a Schedule VI drug, but doesn’t give the amount contained.
Another TBI forensic report tested Gummy frogs which apparently contained Cannabidiol but the analysis couldn’t determine what schedule drug it contained.
An officer still wrote in a petition that the business Enchanted Planet offered edible CBD gummies that is a Schedule VI controlled substance.
“Our Forensic Scientists’ jobs are to objectively identify compounds that are present in evidence submitted to our lab and report out the schedule as indicated in the Tennessee Code Annotated,” said TBI spokesperson Josh Devine. “We make no determination as to the legality of these compounds. Instead, the District Attorney General determines whether the law has been broken, based upon the circumstances of each case.”
“Industrial Hemp is any cannabis product that has less than .3 of one percent which is a microscopic level of THC,” Kirkpatrick said.
“CBD keeps me seizure free, and the other side, shame on you Rutherford County,” CBD product user John Horton read from a homemade sign he was carrying.
Horton let his frustration be known, by walking around the historic Rutherford County Courthouse showing his disappointment in authorities for closing the businesses.
He suffers from seizures, but for the past two years he said he’s been seizure free since he started using CBD products.
“It’s been a life saver, I’m able to drive again, wasn’t able to drive because of the seizures so CBD has saved my life so I’m able to work and live like a normal person,” Horton said.
Since CBD products are also sold in Davidson County, News 2 reached out to District Attorney General Glenn Funk’s office, “Our office is aware of the Rutherford County CBD product sales,” said Chief of Staff Dorinda Carter. “We are monitoring the situation but we cannot comment on any possible investigation in our jurisdiction.”