NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — There are legal hemp products sold in Tennessee that can get users higher than illegal marijuana.
And on the packaging of these edibles, vapes and flowers are scientific names and acronyms promising specific effects.
“The precision that is happening on the scientific side is unbelievable,” said Consider it Flowers co-owner Dexter Palmer. “Now one of our top products is our live resin. It is unbelievably flavorful, strong, and effective. Then the next drop is better. It just evolving and growing so fast.”
Palmer’s business bloomed during the pandemic as they offered same-day delivery of cannabis products across Nashville and partnered with other hemp businesses in the area.
However, going through all the products on their website can feel like diving head first into a can of alphabet soup.
Now there are more than just CBD and low THC products. Consider it Flowers also sells CBDA, CBG, CBN, THC-O, THC-A, and THC-V to name just a few.
But co-owner Kelsey Palmer says there are more compounds to be explored.
“Compared to a year ago, we are creating really custom cool blends where we can combine psychoactive effects with uplifting effects,” Kelsey Palmer said. “[And] effects that might give you less munchies and we are only using a few cannabinoids. There are hundreds of cannabinoids. So, the sky is the limit and it’s hard to say where we could go from here.”
One of the things the Palmers do want in the future is more guidance from government entities to bring more stability and trust to an industry constantly chasing to be in line with the latest law.
“You need to pivot, you need to be very adaptable,” LabCanna owner Derek Besenius said about working in the cannabis industry. “I think this needs to be a fair market from a business standpoint; however, we are running into the issue that there are all of these players, couch chemists, that do not or are not qualified and don’t necessarily have the knowledge to make a safe product.”
LabCanna and Consider it Flowers are part of Cultivate Tennessee a 501(c)(6) and political action committee for the state cannabis industry with the goal of bringing safe and ethical cannabis products to Tennessee. Cultivate Tennessee supports what it calls “right-sized regulation” of the cannabis industry and has set its own standards for now based on regulations from other states with legalized medical and recreational marijuana and feedback from their members and in-state experts.
“I think the cannabis industry as a whole is in this really unique position where they are begging for right-sized regulation. You have business owners going to the capital saying, ‘please regulate us,'” said Cultivate Tennessee co-founder Devin Aracena.
Aracena says this level of hemp development and innovation wouldn’t have been possible without the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp with a certain low level of THC in it. Business owners admit many of the products they sell are deemed legal because of loopholes in the 2018 law.
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But next year, a new Farm Bill is coming, and Tennessee business owners say when that happens they don’t know what products they’ll be able to add to their inventory and which will need to be taken off the shelves.