State representative visits hemp farm in Unicoi County

A plant banned for decades in Tennessee can now be found growing in limited amounts, with government supervision.

Hemp is in the same species as marijuana, but has a significantly lower content of THC.

Thursday afternoon, state representative Jeremy Faison from District 11 paid a visit to a Unicoi County. He met with a farmer that’s part of a pilot program to grow the plant.


“It is the most well rounded plant God ever made, its got everything you need in it,” said Faison.

State representative Jeremy Faison traveled more than an hour outside his district to get an up close look at the hemp.

It is something Fasion has worked for years to legalize in Tennessee.

“I told my colleagues I wanted to make growing hemp legal, and they laughed and said I would never get it out of the first committee,” said Faison.

Now with a decades-long ban on hemp production in Tennessee finally lifted, people like Randall Ledford have the opportunity to grow hemp.

Right now Ledford is growing one acre of hemp.

“Growing it and you know, I’m trying to help make this happen,” said Ledford.

While Faison is in favor of continuing to fight for hemp farming across the state, he says he is also working on legalizing medical marijuana.

“I made cannabis oil legal for children or adults with intractable seizures, I would like to open up that cannabis oil use up to a lot of people. Before January, I will have a bill written to specifically expand cannabis oil to people across Tennessee,” said Faison.

He says 18-month-old Josie Mathes, diagnosed with infantile spasms, is one reason he keeps fighting for the cause.


“Pretty impressive that we’ve gotten this far, we definitely need more legislation. You know, our goal is to work again and push for THC and push for THCa because its definitely needed, and we need it for her,” said Stacie Mathes.


For now Faison says he is pleased with the progress made, and hopes this is just the beginning for the future of hemp farming in Tennessee.

While Faison says he is in favor of legalizing medical marijuana, he says he is not in favor of making it legal to use for recreational purposes here in Tennessee.

Copyright 2015 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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