RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WSMV/NBCNC) – Rutherford County law enforcement officials have closed 23 stores that were selling products containing cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, that distributors and local industry representatives argue are legal in Tennessee.
The items at issue: gummies that come in wrapping similar to most candy found in a store.
Officers from the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, Murfreesboro, Smyrna and La Vergne Police Departments, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the DEA and the FBI closed the stores on Monday after receiving a court order from Circuit Court Judge Royce Taylor.
According to Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh, 21 indictments were issued by the Rutherford County Grand Jury for individuals selling the products, mainly a candy that resembled gummy bears with CBD, a derivative of marijuana and hemp.
“It’s an illegal drug that is in synthetic drugs,” Sheriff Fitzhugh said. “It’s cannabidiol, a CBD product. It’s a derivative of marijuana and it is an illegal drug except in medical situations.”
But Joe Kirkpatrick of the Industrial Hemp Industries Association argues the products are legal. He says in a statement in part: “Unless law enforcement can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this CBD was derived from a marijuana source rather than an industrial hemp source, they are in clear violation of the law.”