Dickson, Tenn. (WTVF) – A local business owner thinks a bill to ban many Delta-8 THC products would cost him tens of thousands of dollars.
Southern Sugar Leaf’s Chris Yates spent a lot of time at the State Legislative Office Building this year. However, he usually works in the company building in Dickson.
“Our candy bars, we’re in luck,” Yates said. “They fall under the 0.3% rule even if this bill passes.”
Much of the building where the company operates, they just call it “the kitchen”. This is where they manufacture Delta 8 and Delta 9 food products.
According to Yates, the products are legal and regulated to some degree by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. But he fears they won’t be legal for long.
Yates is very concerned about a bill that has taken over conversations about THC in the state legislature.
The 1927 House Bill would ban any product containing more than 0.3% THC.
“I think it’s unfortunate, where we have this conversation, where we don’t just have common sense regulation,” Yates said. “Instead, we’re just passing a straight ban. Let’s get everything below 0.3%. Why are we banning vapes?”
Yates said that since they primarily work with food, they will still be able to stay open if this bill passes.
He would have much preferred a different bill, HB 1690, which would allow the Department of Agriculture to set rules on Delta 8 and also add a tax on the product so the regulations could be enforced.
This bill died in a Senate committee.
Now he thinks he could lose tens of thousands of dollars if the state makes some of his products illegal.
“I’d say maybe about $25,000 worth of product. Yeah. For us, my wife and I started this business a year ago with nothing. Literally just a bottle of distillate and a bag of rice krispies. That’s a lot of money for us,” he said.
He hopes there will be common ground on the bill.
Even so, if the law changes, he said he would do everything he can to comply with it.
He asks anyone who cares to contact their legislator.
“I think that’s what people are going to have to do if they don’t want this to happen,” Yates said.
He also said his company already regulates and displays the strength of its product on the packaging. It’s a complaint some lawmakers have made about Delta-8 products in Tennessee.