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Industrial Hemp Facts

Background

In response to the 2014 federal Farm Bill, the 108th General Assembly of Tennessee enacted Public Chapter 916 regarding the growing of industrial hemp in Tennessee. The Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture promulgated regulations establishing a program of licensing authorized hemp producers.

Sec. 7606. Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research provides for the cultivation of industrial hemp for purposes of research by institutions of higher education or state departments of agriculture in states where it is legal. In May of 2016, state law was amended to allow for a processor license.

Definition

Industrial hemp is federally defined in the Agricultural Act of 2014 as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.” However, industrial hemp also produces CBD, and there is no restriction on CBD concentration.

Uses

Historically, industrial hemp has been regarded primarily as an agricultural crop valued for fiber and grain. Hemp fiber is used to make textiles, building materials, animal bedding, mulch, paper, industrial products, and biofuels. Hemp grain, or seed, is used in food and feed products, and oil from the seed is used to make personal care products and industrial products, including paints, solvents, and lubricants.  

Read more in UT's 2018 publication, Status of Industrial Hemp in Tennessee.