NASHVILLE, April 17, 2014
Yesterday, the Tennessee General Assembly took the final necessary steps to send legislation to Governor Haslam, which if signed, will nullify the federal ban on hemp…
The bill reads, in part:
“The department shall issue licenses to persons who apply to the department for a license to grow industrial hemp.”
Mike Maharrey, communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center, noted that one word strengthened the bill considerably. “By including the word ‘shall’ in this legislation, it has a great deal of impact,” he said. “This means that rather than keeping it open-ended like other states have done, hemp farming will be able to move forward in Tennessee whether the regulatory bureaucrats there want it to or not.”
‘Shall’ is a legal term which creates a specific requirement far stronger than a word like ‘will.’ The former is more closely interchangeable with the word “must,” while the latter allows leeway for the object of the term to delay. In this case, the bill states that the Tennessee department of agriculture will have a mandate to license farmers for growing hemp.
Three other states – Colorado, Oregon and Vermont – have already passed bills to authorize hemp farming, but only in Colorado has the process begun. Farmers in SE Colorado started harvesting the plant in 2013 and the state began issuing licenses on March 1, 2014…