Tennesseans Want to Legalize Cannabis, Just Ask Us:
Free The Plant Event Set for Oct. 9
Cannabis and Tennessee have a lengthy history. We’re basically family.
Dating all the way back to the late 1790s when Tennessee joined the Union, hemp was already a staple for nearly every farmer.
Hemp fiber was the original and primary use of the plant, something we are just beginning to unpack again in 2021.
In the early 1900s large timber and paper companies fought against the plant, as it had a direct effect on their businesses.
This trend moved through the entire century as large corporations that focused on paper production, timber, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and many other products fought against the dynamic plant’s capacity for massive production with very little work.
That’s a lot of pressure for one plant.
Today, the pressure has built to a near-boiling point as states are legalizing cannabis in nearly every way.
The data is clear. Legalization is guaranteed to open up more jobs, new industries, new farming opportunities, new medicines, new fuels and new building materials unlike any plant before.
And that is just the start.
Currently, the hemp farming trend is focusing primarily on cannabinoids like CBD, one of the powerful, medicinal-based ingredients found within the plant.
Farmers are going after the most profitable part of the industry. But when regulations, or lack thereof, funnel every farmer down the same tunnel, the results are less than perfect.
And therein lies the problem.
Little to no regulations on a plant with such a negative stigma means little to no progress. Fear wins.
Tennessee is one of the last states to make any major move with legalizing the plant. Why?
Recent polling has shown as many as 88 percent of Tennesseans now support legalizing cannabis on some level. So, what is the holdup?
Large scale industrial farms could focus on farming for fiber, wood, building materials and plastics if Tennessee would help with the infrastructure. Smaller craft farmers would focus on the medicinal aspect of the plant. The system would build itself if there were a map and a clear path. Businesses would grow and farmers could once again thrive.
Why would we cut down 80-year-old trees when we could cut down hemp that took four months to grow?
Why would Tennessee worry about cannabis as medicine when we have one of the highest opioid addiction rates in the country?
Why are we so concerned about a plant that has proven, time and time again, it is useful?
Fear is one thing, but we now have enough data to know the fear is unfounded.
What does a family do when they can’t agree on something? We sit around the table, drink a beer, air our grievances and find a solution.
That’s exactly what we are doing on Saturday, Oct. 9, at Hop Springs Beer Park. Volunteer Botanicals and the Tennessee Growers Coalition, a nonprofit political action committee, are hosting a Free the Plant Fundraiser Event to break down these stigmas surrounding this powerful plant.
Legislators need to know how we feel, and we invite all legislators to be there. If you care, you’ll come.
We have to push harder and make our voices known. If we don’t, nothing will ever change and the forces that have controlled this plant for the last 100 years will continue to keep its potential down.
If you care about legalizing the plant, we need you now more than ever. Join us at Hop Springs, located at 6790 John Bragg Hwy., Murfreesboro, on Oct. 9. If the legislators won’t do it, then maybe the 88 percent who want it can.
Just like family, we can fix this.