KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A new bill to regulate Delta 8 in Tennessee is in the hopper.
Last year, some lawmakers wanted to ban the sale of hemp-based products but that bill failed.
“It’s already out there everywhere,” Tennessee Senator Richard Briggs (R-Knoxville) said. “We can’t stop it, but what we’re trying to do at this point is to try to regulate to protect children and try to protect consumers.”
Right now, a nine-year-old could buy Delta 8 in the Volunteer State. Selling or buying the products is not subject to any rules and they contain very low amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component in cannabis (marijuana).
“There is some Delta 8 in nature,” Briggs said. “But that’s not what they’re extracting and selling. They’re selling a synthetic, chemically made product.”
According to Briggs, a retired heart surgeon, Delta 8 can be dangerous if ingested.
“There could be containments, pesticides. There’s nothing to say what they have to put on the package,” he said.
So, Briggs and State House Majority Leader William Lamberth are introducing a bill to tighten the grip on Delta 8.
“It doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a completely safe product afterward but at least the public, the consumer will know that he’s getting what the package says on it and that there’s not harmful containments in the package,” Briggs said.
Under the proposed bill, there would be oversight into how Delta 8 is made and packaged. It would also ban sales to anyone under 21 years old and businesses would be required to have a license to sell Delta 8 products.
“The license is about $500 a year and they’ll collect some revenue from that, not a whole lot,” Briggs said. “And then there will be an additional 5% tax put on this just like how we tax alcohol or cigarettes.”
Briggs says the ideas behind the bill have nothing to do with increasing state revenue. It’s simply to protect Tennesseans.
“It’s a long bill there’s a lot more in there than what I talked about but one of the things it says, ‘in Tennessee, we’re not going to allow them to sell in the shape of animals or cartoon characters.’ And that’s from keeping the kids from thinking it’s a candy,” he added.
WATE will provide updates as the new Delta 8 bill makes its way through the legislature.