Around the South – Progress on Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Legislation

Several Southern states have passed medical marijuana and industrial hemp bills. Others are on the cusp. Do you know which ones have already? Read on to determine where you or your family members may be traveling before you purchase that one-way ticket to Denver.


Industrial hemp

A bill legalizing the cultivation of industrial hemp unanimously passed the Tennessee Senate April 9th. The Governor’s signature remains. Once Governor Haslam signs the bill, the Department of Agriculture will have three months to begin developing rules regarding the issuance of hemp seeds to farmers and regulating crops. Tennessee is about to become the 13th state to legalize industrial hemp in the U.S.

Medical Marijuana
The House and Senate have both passed a bill funding a four year study into the effects of CBD in treating epileptic seizures. While the Koozer-Kuhn bill, a broader medical marijuana bill similar to those that have passed in 21 other states, did not pass, Tennessee looks like it will join Alabama as another Southern state to pass a CBD-only bill once it gains the Governor’s signature.


Medical Marijuana
Governor Bentley signed Carly’s Law after the bill passed both chambers of state congress unanimously. Originally the bill’s success looked bleak, but a ground swell of public support strongly persuaded lawmakers to re-examine the issue. Carly’s Law legalizes the use of CBD-oil for medicinal use. The bill allows the University of Alabama at Birmingham UAB’s Department of Neurology to prescribe the oil for qualifying patients.


Medical Marijuana
The Peachtree state was almost the first Southern state to pass a medical marijuana bill. Even though the bill passed the House with only 4 nay votes, one senator effectively killed the bill when she added non-marijuana qualifiers that the rest of the Senate would not pass. Now the Governor is outlining options to import CBD-oils from GW Pharmaceuticals, a British company working on a CBD based product that will have FDA approval.



The state’s Attorney General has indicated that farmers will indeed be able to sell industrial hemp cultivated in Kentucky. There are no acreage restrictions on the amount of hemp a Kentucky farmer may grow. Kentucky is farther along the industrial hemp path than its Southern neighbors, so Tennessee farmers are able to see looming problems – how to obtain the seeds. Customs agents have already intercepted many seeds at the country’s borders and have been sending them back. The hope is to find a solution soon as hemp growing season begins the first week in May.


North Carolina
There are no new bills filed yet, but this blog post shows which cannabis related bills are still alive in North Carolina. Remember what happened in Alabama – the medical marijuana bill looked doomed, but once the people spoke up and demanded the state congress pass the legislation Alabama was turned into the first Southern state passing legislation explicitly allowing the use of marijuana based CBD-oil for medicinal use.

If enough people speak up across the state, North Carolina can also make a difference. NORML asks that you do your part and look into helping make North Carolina part of the national discussion.

2 thoughts on “Around the South – Progress on Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Legislation

  1. How can we the people of nc,get weed legal in our state. And if they do how can I go about opening a weed shop. What are the steps,to make this happen.

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