In the state of Tennessee, the use of marijuana is only legal for extremely limited medical applications. It is against the law to possess, cultivate or sell marijuana for recreational use. While most convictions are felonies, the possession of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor if it falls within certain guidelines.
The boundaries for possession
If you are just visiting our fair state, you may not know that if caught with less than a half ounce of marijuana, Tennessee law says you are guilty of a misdemeanor. That may not sound so bad, but on a first conviction, you are looking at a fine of $250 and you could serve jail time of up to one year. For a second conviction, the fine doubles. Until recently, a third conviction for possession was listed as a felony, but in 2016, the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor. However, it is a felony to either grow or sell marijuana in this state and the penalties are severe.
Even one plant means trouble
By Tennessee law, growing any amount of cannabis is a felony, even just one plant. The mandatory minimum sentence for cultivating 10 or fewer plants is a year in jail-you could get up to six years in prison-and as much as $5,000 in fines. If you grow between 10 and 19 plants, the minimum penalty is two years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
The half-ounce rule for sales
If you sell a half ounce or more of marijuana, you are committing a felony. For a sale of up to 10 pounds, the minimum sentence is one year in jail with a possibility of up to six years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Looking for help
You may be a Tennessee tourist who was pulled over for a traffic citation and ended up with the more serious charge: possession of marijuana. Do not delay your search for legal help. Reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney who will be a strong advocate for you.