Posted on April 18, 2014
NASHVILLE, April 16, 2014 – Today, the Tennessee state senate gave final approval to a bill which some supporters consider the strongest pro-hemp legislation in the country. After a 28-0 vote, the bill will now go to Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk for a signature. With the house having approved the bill by a vote of 88-5, both chambers have a strong veto-proof majority.
House Bill 2445 (HB2445), introduced by Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby), would mandate that the state authorize the growing and production of industrial hemp within Tennessee, effectively nullifying the unconstitutional federal ban on the same.
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.