NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) -- The hemp industry is booming in Tennessee.

Another Cannabidiol (CBD) store opened its doors in the Mid-state on Saturday.

Right now, Tennessee is seeing dozens of applications to start industrial hemp farms, the plant used to create CBD oils and other products, and it's showing no signs of slowing down.

CBD oil has been touted for its health benefits. Proponents say CBD is different from marijuana, in that it doesn't have THC in it. THC gives marijuana its psychoactive property. 

In other words, you can't "get high" from taking CBD. 

“There’s just been a lot of people, I think, have started to see that it is helpful,” said John Mitchell, owner of Simply CBD in Smyrna. “Hopefully it's going to continue to be something that grows and has people coming in seeing it's not taboo.”

Mitchell is a former Smyrna Police Department narcotics detective.

“I tried it, and for the first time my knees didn't hurt," Mitchell said. "I took it on Friday, and they didn't hurt until Monday. That was what sold me on it. We talked about opening up a store, and here we are."

Mitchell stresses how there is no "high" attached to the products sold in his store, and it's perfectly legal to buy and sell in Tennessee. 

“It's gone wide open across the state," Mitchell said. "We went from 73 people that were able to grow it to over 200 something this year."

Nothing shows the demand for hemp more than the huge turnout out at the Southern Hemp Expo at the Nashville Fairgrounds this weekend.

At the expo, vendors like Katherine Merryfield showed off their goods.

“We've gotten a lot of good responses from the Tennessee farmers," Merryfield said. "They're converting tobacco fields into hemp fields. Our farmers, our extractors, ourselves as manufacturers, are really working together to get this industry in the southeast going.”

At least 35 states have passed legislation regarding industrial hemp. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture regulates the industry and anyone that wishes to work with the product must first obtain the proper permit.

For more information on growing hemp in Tennessee, click here.   

The Southern Hemp Expo wrapped up on Saturday, but the Tennessee Hemp Industries Association is also hosting a Hemp Farm Tour/Field Day on Sunday, Sept. 30 in Springfield, Tenn. 

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Edward Burch joined News4 at a reporter in December 2016.

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