NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s not quite marijuana.
“Very little difference, you have to test it to tell the difference,” True South Seeds Managing Director, Dan Glenn, said. “It’s actually the amount of cannabinoids in the plant. But just to walk by a field, you couldn’t tell the difference.”
Hemp and CBD are growing industries around Tennessee.
Back in 2018, the U.S. Congress passed what’s commonly known as the Farm Bill, legalizing hemp products.
The Tennessee legislature wasn’t far behind, passing SB357, removing hemp from the state’s controlled substance list.
“The hemp industry, in general, is a young industry,” Tennessee Department of Agriculture Commissioner, Dr. Charlie Hatcher, said. “Tennessee was an early adopter. It’s been a rollercoaster ride.”
There might be a few more loops coming. Next year, Congress is set to pass a new Farm Bill with the potential to shift the regulations on hemp products.
“It’s very uncertain. We don’t know what the new Farm Bill is going to be,” Dr. Hatcher said. “It could be some big changes, it could be very similar. We don’t know.”
For now though, the farmers in the industry seem to love it.
“It’s an amazing plant. It’s super resilient, only requires a little bit of water,” Glenn said. “Man, it can take the elements. [It’s] Fragrant. It’s an amazing crop.”
Back in 2019, there were nearly 3,000 licensed growers in Tennessee.
“There was an oversupply, the market corrected, the price dropped,” Hatcher said. “A lot of people got out of it.”
The state is now down to 335—but that is up from last year’s numbers.