Tennessee Marijuana Laws

Current Legality State
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Tennessee State Information Page

  • Illegal
  • Not Decriminalized 
  • CBD oil approved for two medical conditions
  • Possession is not allowed
  • Cultivation is illegal
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As of 2022, the State of Tennessee has some of the most restrictive laws in the nation regarding cannabis legalization.  Just recently, non-psychoactive high CBD oil has been approved as a treatment option for severe cases of epilepsy, leading to seizures and certain types of cancer.  Tennessee still has a minimal medical program, but there is hope for expansion in the upcoming years. 

State Laws and Offenses

Here’s a list of penalties under state and federal law for marijuana possession, sale, and distribution of illegal cannabis, concentrate, or paraphernalia in Tennessee.

  • Marijuana is a Schedule IV drug in the state of Tennessee and the state law still has some fairly harsh penalties in place.
  • Under federal law, cannabis is still considered a Schedule I Controlled Substance
  • Marijuana possession of one half-ounce or less is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by 1-year incarceration, and a 250 USD fine
  • Sales of any kind is a Class D Felony; penalties range from up to one year to 60 years and 250 USD to 500,000 USD depending on the pounds 
  • Cultivation of any kind is a Class B Felony; penalties range from 1 to 60 years and 250 USD to 500,000 USD depending on the pounds 
  • Simple Possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class A Misdemeanor. Penalties become more severe if operating a motor vehicle.
  • Sales of paraphernalia is a Class C Felony. A second offense or third conviction may have greater penalties, mandated drug tests, and jail time.

Severe forms of epilepsy, seizures, and treatment of cancer-related symptoms.  However, this covers only CBD oil and is not provided by the state.


Eighty-one percent of Tennessee voters support the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes. 

Tennessee doesn’t offer a medical marijuana program; however, patients with severe seizures can legally possess CBD oil that contains less than 0.9% THC. But, there are no legal CBD oil manufacturers within the state, and it’s federally illegal to carry cannabis products from state to state. 

Yes for marijuana, only hemp edibles are allowed. A few hemp dispensaries across the state of Tennessee sell hemp CBD-infused edibles, tinctures, flowers, and more. 

Yes. CBD derived from the hemp plant is legal in Tennessee if it has under 0.3% THC due to the passing of the Farm Bill of 2018. Consumption of CBD oil with 0.9% THC or less is legal for people who have epilepsy but is not manufactured within the state. 

Requirements are as follows: 

Be 18 years of age or older

You must be able to provide proof of your IL residency

You must have a diagnosis that qualifies in Illinois and a doctor’s prescription.

You must submit a signed Physician Certification with your MMP application – and that is where Leafy Doc can help.  We can assist with booking your appointment and then provide the Physician Certification so that you can apply to get your medical card. Once you have the card, you may visit licensed medical marijuana dispensaries and even grow medical cannabis.

Smokable hemp can be purchased and used as a pre-roll or flower form. 

Cannabis Policy Reform Timeline

1981: HB 314 created a research program that used cannabis or THC for cancer chemotherapy, radiology, or glaucoma. A Patient Qualification Review Board administered the program within the Board of Pharmacy. This board was authorized to contract with the federal government for cannabis. The program was repealed by SB 1818 in 1992.

2015: Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed SB 280, and the bill approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee legalized the ability to possess marijuana to treat a few severe conditions, including epilepsy. The bill has no provisions for legal sale, so patients have to purchase the drug outside the state of Tennessee; however, possession of CBD oil that the patient obtains outside of Tennessee is a misdemeanor charge. 

2016: Tennessee updated its low-THC law by enacting HB 2144 on May 20, 2016. The law states that patients can legally possess low THC cannabis oil with no more than 0.9% THC with medical or legal recommendations. They will need to have been diagnosed with epilepsy by a Tennessee doctor.

2017: The legislature enacted HB 1164, modifying Tennessee’s industrial hemp law to allow hemp production with 0.3% THC or less. The law requires hemp growers to obtain a license from the Department of Agriculture. 

2021: The legislature passed SB 118, creating an essential study commission for medical cannabis and improving the CBD law by making it available for more conditions and increasing the allowable THC limit to 0.9%.

Updated 6.14.2022