The sheriff in Madison County, Tennessee recently hosted an educational workshop that highlighted the differences between hemp and THC-rich cannabis, or marijuana, according to the Jackson Sun. Focusing on the differences between the two plant variations and their cultivation, harvesting, and processing practices, the event hosted state agencies and concluded with a tour of Hemphill Farms.
“The conference was excellent. We had lots of feedback from across the state. This is actually the first time it’s ever been done in the state.” — Sherriff John Mehr, via the Jackson Sun
In addition to the state Department of Agriculture, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) attended along with the TBI lab and other local law enforcement agencies. According to Mehr, attendees learned skills that will help them differentiate between hemp, CBD, and THC-rich cannabis products and understand more about the new regulations.
The sheriff said officers can “run into problems” distinguishing hemp from cannabis, remarking, “When we’re out here making stops on the road, and sometimes getting several pounds of marijuana, someone could get stopped that actually has hemp.”
Mehr says another issue is when Tennesseans call law enforcement to report an illegal cannabis grow when in fact the plants are legal hemp.
“Lots of times these hemp farms are not huge,” the Sherriff said in the report. “Which makes them look less official … But you can’t just plant it anywhere, it has to be approved (by the state). And it’s up to us to educate our officers that these growers may be entirely legal — lots of times neighbors or somebody will see it and say ‘That’s marijuana growing!’ but it’s just hemp.”
The sheriff says he is enthusiastic for more events but will have to wait until new hemp and medical cannabis laws are passed in the next legislative session.
“The tour was great—people could see it first hand, and see the barns and learn the process they go through,” he said.
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