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Traveling through Tennessee with marijuana could mean trouble


Traveling through Tennessee with marijuana could mean trouble

On behalf of Patrick T. McNally, Attorney at Law | 
October 14, 2019

One of the potential issues with the varying marijuana laws in different states is that someone could inadvertently break the law on a road trip. According to World Population Review, 33 states allow residents to use marijuana in some form—most for medical purposes. Eleven states and Washington, D.C., allow residents to use marijuana medically and recreationally, and others may soon join them.

However, at the federal level, marijuana is still considered a controlled substance.

Tennessee marijuana possession penalties

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, it is a misdemeanor for any person in Tennessee to possess any amount of marijuana, and the penalties could include as much as a year in jail and fines as high as $2,500. Subsequent nonviolent possession penalties are also misdemeanors, although cultivating up to 10 plants is a felony that could result in up to six years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.


The only exception for any marijuana product use is high-CBD, low-THC cannabis oil, which can only be used by seizure patients. These patients may not possess CBD oils containing over 0.9% THC. Hemp with as much as 0.3% THC is not legally considered marijuana as long as the person possessing the viable hemp is a licensed hemp grower, or the hemp is nonviable but has been procured according to U.S. Department of Agriculture rules.

The future of cannabis in Tennessee

In the coming year or two, it is possible that Tennessee may legalize medical cannabis for certain health conditions, such as cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and seizures. State lawmakers have authored a bill to that effect, but consideration for the bill is currently postponed.

Until legalization is addressed at the state or federal level, traveling across Tennessee with marijuana products of any kind could lead to criminal charges.

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