Tennessee Outlaws Underage Hemp Vaping and Smoking
The legalization of hemp by the federal government and many different states has caused some legal confusion among consumers. It can be difficult to know what is legal and what is not regarding CBD and other hemp products from state to state. When Tennessee legalized hemp and sales began, there were no specific laws prohibiting minors from smoking or vaping hemp. State legislators recognized this issue and voted to amend the Prevention of Youth Access to Tobacco and Vapor Products Act this year.
The law previously only prohibited underage juveniles - under age 18 - from smoking or vaping tobacco. Now, the law prohibits:
- Underage smoking or vaping of hemp
- Selling or distributing hemp products for smoking or vaping to underage juveniles
- Purchasing such hemp products on behalf of an underage juvenile
Note that the law only addresses hemp for smoking or vaping and does not address ingestible or topical hemp. Vendors can decide whether to restrict sales of those products to underage individuals.
While an underage smoking offense might not seem that serious, any trouble with the law can impact your child’s life and future. If your child was cited for underage smoking or any other violation of the law in Murfreesboro, you should contact a juvenile defense attorney right away for help.
Hemp and Tobacco Violations for Juveniles
Along with every other state, juveniles under age 18 are prohibited from smoking or vaping. 18 states - Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington - and Washington, D.C. have raised the legal age for smoking and vaping to 21. This is a trend expected to continue throughout the United States in the coming years.
As of now, only minors under age 18 can be cited for smoking or vaping tobacco or hemp in Tennessee. Some exceptions to this age limit include:
- Juveniles under 18 may handle tobacco or hemp as part of their job when they are supervised by an adult
- Juveniles under 18 may handle tobacco or hemp when engaging in agricultural work
- Juveniles under 18 may possess tobacco or hemp if they are participating in an educational project
If your child is caught with tobacco or hemp for smoking or vaping outside of the above exceptions, they can be issued a civil violation citation. The fine will be about $50, but your child will have to appear in juvenile court as part of the case. Even a seemingly minor citation such as underage smoking or vaping can cause problems with your child’s educational opportunities and other future goals. It is important to discuss each juvenile citation or criminal charge with an experienced juvenile defense attorney.
Consult with a Murfreesboro Juvenile Defense Lawyer
At Dotson & Taylor, we represent clients of all ages, and our legal team knows how the juvenile justice system works in Tennessee. We are here to help your child and your family, so please call 615-890-1982 or contact us online to learn more about our criminal defense services.