Marijuana Laws in Tennessee

In the State of Tennessee, cannabis is a Schedule VI drug. Numerous U.S. states have changed their marijuana laws over the years, from decriminalization to legalization to medical cannabis program enactments. However, the Volunteer State has refused to follow suit.

Please note: ILGM is NOT a legal adviser. Information contained in this website is intended as general introductory information only. The information contained on this website is not legal advice. It should not be construed as legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.

Tennessee lawmakers practice the “no marijuana for anybody, no matter what” tactic. Therefore, it is illegal to sell, grow, use or possess even small amounts of cannabis in this state. However, a bill was recently passed which allows state universities to take part in cannabis studies.

The Tennessee CBD-Specific Marijuana Law allows qualifying patients suffering from intractable seizures to possess and consume certain cannabis derivatives. They may only use cannabis oils with less than 9/10 of 1% THC.

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Possessing Marijuana – image by Ibtimes.com

Possessing Marijuana in Tennessee

Although still illegal, Tennessee has reduced penalties, slightly, for the possession of cannabis. Related crimes used to be felonies in this state. But, that changed in 2016. Now, those convicted of most nonviolent cannabis possession charges are guilty of misdemeanor crimes. Today, these offenses are punishable as follows:

  • Under ½ ounce = Misdemeanor: Up to $2,500 fine and up to 1-year incarceration
  • First-time offenders = Mandatory $250 fine
  • Second-time offenders = Mandatory minimum fine of $500
  • Third time & subsequent offenders = Up to 1-year incarceration

Hash & Concentrates

It is a crime to deliver, sell, manufacture, or possess concentrates of hash in Tennessee. Such related crimes as punishable as follows:

  • Using or possessing with intent to use = Misdemeanor: Up to $2,500 fine and up to 11 months, 29 days’ incarceration
  • Under 14.75 grams = Misdemeanor: Up to $2,500 fine and up to 11 months, 29 days imprisonment
  • Subsequent conviction = Felony: Up to $3,000 fine and mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year to up to 6 years’ imprisonment
  • Between 14.75 grams to 2 pounds = Felony: Up to $5,000 fine and 1 to 6 years’ imprisonment
  • Between 2 to 4 pounds = Felony: Up to $50,000 fine and 1 to 12 years’ imprisonment
  • Between 4 to 8 pounds = Felony: Up to $100,000 fine and 3 to 15 years’ imprisonment
  • Between 8 to 15 pounds = Felony: Up to $200,000 fine and 8 to 30 years’ imprisonment
  • Over 15 pounds = Felony: Up to $500,000 fine and 15 to 60 years’ imprisonment
  • Within 1,000 feet of child day care center, recreation center, park, public library or school = Felony: Penalty for the crime increased by one class (IE, Class D felony turns into Class C felony)

Selling Marijuana in Tennessee

The State of Tennessee groups all cannabis sales charges into the sale or possession with intent to distribute category. These charges are all felonies and are punishable as follows:

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Selling Marijuana – Image by Thecannabist.co
  • Between ½ ounce to 10 pounds = Up to $5,000 fine and 1 to 6 years’ imprisonment
  • Between 10 to 70 pounds = Up to $50,000 fine and 2 to 12 years’ imprisonment
  • Between 70 to 300 pounds = Up to $100,000 fine and 8 to 30 years’ imprisonment
  • Over 300 pounds = Up to $500,000 fine and 15 to 60 years’ imprisonment
  • First-time felony conviction = $2,000 mandatory minimum fine
  • Second felony conviction = $3,000 mandatory minimum fine
  • Third & subsequent conviction = $5,000 mandatory minimum fine, plus punishment increased to one grade higher
  • Sale to minor = Penalty for crime, based on weight, increased by one sentencing grade
  • Sale to minor within 1,000 feet of school = Penalty for crime, based on weight, increased by one sentencing grade

Paraphernalia

It is a felony in Tennessee to sell drug paraphernalia. This crime is punishable by a fine up to $5,000 and 1 to 6 years of imprisonment.

Growing and Manufacturing Marijuana in Tennessee

Anyone found to be manufacturing, cultivating or growing cannabis in the State of Tennessee is guilty of a felony crime. Related offenses are punishable as follows:

  • Under 10 plants = Up to $3,000 fine and 1 to 6 years’ imprisonment
  • Between 10 to 19 plants = Up to $50,000 fine and 2 to 12 years’ imprisonment
  • Between 20 to 99 plants = Up to $100,000 fine and 3 to 15 years’ imprisonment
  • Between 100 to 499 plants = Up to $200,000 fine and 8 to 30 years’ imprisonment
  • Over 500 plants = Up to $500,000 fine and 15 to 60 years’ imprisonment
  • First-time felony conviction = $2,000 mandatory minimum fine
  • Second felony conviction = $3,000 mandatory minimum fine
  • Subsequent felony conviction = $5,000 mandatory minimum fine
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Growing and Manufacturing Marijuana – Image Johnsoncitypress.com

Hash & Concentrates

Any equipment or device used to create, make or manufacture cannabis concentrates or hash is considered to be drug paraphernalia in Tennessee. Manufacturing or possessing concentrates or hashish with intent to deliver are felony crimes. These crimes face penalties of up to a $3,000 fine and a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year to up to 6 years in prison.

Tennessee Hemp Law

In 2014, Tennessee lawmakers enacted the state’s Hemp Law under House Bill 2445 and Senate Bill 2495. This law classifies hemp as marijuana with less than 0.3% THC contents. Instead of being classified a controlled substance, it’s not considered an industrial crop.

Under House Bill 2032, allows higher education institutions in Tennessee to become licensed industrial hemp cultivators. These schools must offer programs of study on a baccalaureate or post-graduate level in agricultural sciences. The law makes provisions for licensing people to distribute and process industrial hemp in Tennessee.

Using Marijuana in Tennessee

It is illegal to cultivate, sell, grow, possess or use cannabis throughout the State of Tennessee. See “Possessing Marijuana in Tennessee” section for penalty details based on the weight of the plants, hashish or concentrates.

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Using Marijuana – Image by Weed.nz

Medical Marijuana

This state has enacted a CBD-Specific Marijuana Law. It allows qualifying patients certified by physicians as sufferers of intractable seizures to consumer cannabis oils. These marijuana oils may not contain more than 9/10 of 1% THC contents. However, there are currently no legal ways to obtain these oils within the state.

Breaking the Marijuana Laws in Tennessee

Tennessee lawmakers have made it a misdemeanor crime to falsify a drug test. This crime is punishable by a fine up to $2,500 and up to 1 year in jail.

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Breaking Marijuana – Image by Todosimple.com

Tennessee Tax Stamp Law

This state has enacted a tax stamp law that requires anyone in possession of cannabis to buy a stamp from the state. They must affix it to their contraband to be in compliance with this law.

Tennessee’s tax stamp rate is $3.50 per gram if the amount is over 42 ½ grams, or $0.40 per gram if the product includes stems. The penalty for not paying this tax is 200% of the tax rate, plus any applicable interest.

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Jenny Bloom

Editor-in-Chief at I Love Growing Marijuana

Jenny is ILGM's unstoppable force when it comes to quality control for all the content on the blog. In the meantime, she manages to write many of the articles herself as well. She's not a lawyer but is well-read on all the latest marijuana legislations, which she always keeps up to date!... [Read full bio]

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