In 2017, Tennessee legislators legalized the sale of hemp-derived CBD edibles or topical products, as long as said products contain less than 0.3 percent THC. The business owners arrested during these raids have all said that the products they sold were fully legal under this state law. Sixteen of the business owners were arraigned on Friday, and all of them entered pleas of “not guilty. How could an owner know they’re selling something illegal if there’s nothing in the code to say it’s illegal?” Todd argued that in order to have grounds to arrest these business owners, “the state has to show that they knew this was a controlled substance and they sold it,” but that “they failed” to do so.
Prosecutors will be taking the seized CBD products to a state testing lab to determine whether or not they comply with state law. A hearing will be held on March 19th to determine whether the CBD edibles are legal or not. Until that time, local law enforcement is keeping the money seized from these stores, while prohibiting them from selling CBD products.
Similar confusion over the legality of CBD products has been plaguing local business owners in Indiana over the past year.