NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A new bill aims to protect Tennesseans when it comes to use of CBD.
For Van Hays, taking CBD daily has become life-changing.
“Started to use the oils to stem the migraines,” said Hays. “Immediately, I found relief. It was like night and day.”
But that relief has put jobs in jeopardy when Tennessee employers drug test for THC, the psychoactive ingredient found in CBD, which is legal, and marijuana, which is not.
“It’s a yes or no pass fail type test and the way the tests currently are is so low of a threshold that it’s a rebuttable presumption that you are guilty of taking an illegal substance when you’re not,” said State Representative Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro).
That’s why Terry, who’s also an anesthesiologist, and Senator Richard Briggs (R-Knoxville) are co-sponsoring House Bill 2054 to raise the THC testing threshold from 50 to 150 nanograms per millimeter.
“It’s still a minute amount. That’s a really small amount,” said Terry.
Terry said the goal is to protect patients.
“To not lose their job,” said Terry. “Regularly in the government sector or parents who get into legal issues with their children or even athletes that may have trouble with this.”
President of the Tennessee Hemp Industries Association Frederick Cawthon said this bill helps to protect consumers, as well.
“It just increases our customer base basically and so that bodes well for all the business because primarily this is a small business, small farm operation,” said Cawthon.
“It’s a tough answer because you don’t want to give people the license to go out there and act crazy,” said Hays.
The hemp farmer in Hays supports regulation to help the industry grow, but as a construction business owner and thus employer, himself, he said he errs on the side of caution.
“Have to be responsible in raising the threshold,” said Hays. “There’s a balance and we have to find that happy medium and then finding a happy medium has to be a decisive effort and it might have to take multiple steps to get there.”