As provided in Sec. 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill industrial hemp may only be grown as part of a research or pilot project. The 108th General Assembly enacted Public Chapter 916 regarding the growing of industrial hemp in Tennessee. The Act removes industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana in the criminal code. The cultivation of industrial hemp is now available as an option for Tennessee farmers on a limited basis. The Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture has promulgated regulations establishing a program of licensing authorized hemp producers.
Sec. 7606. Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research contained in the 2014 Federal Farm Bill, which was signed into law Feb. 7, 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. The interaction of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the provisions of Sec. 7606 is a developing process. As TDA develops Tennessee's industrial hemp program every effort will be made to minimize the impact of federal law on potential hemp producers in Tennessee. In May of 2016 the law was amended to allow for a processor license.