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What are the punishments for marijuana crimes in Tennessee?

On Behalf of | May 31, 2023 | Criminal Defense

The punishments for marijuana are strict in Tennessee although possession and exchange are usually misdemeanors. Selling even small amounts of the drug is a felony on the first offense.


Criminal law in Tennessee classifies possession of less than 0.5 ounces of marijuana as a Class A misdemeanor. You would have a minimum fine of $250, and you would need to attend drug offender school. A maximum one-year jail sentence is possible. On a subsequent offense, the minimum fine is $500. In the past, a third offense was a felony, but Tennessee changed that law in 2016. It’s a misdemeanor and punishable by up to one year in jail.


Casual exchange from an adult to a minor who is at least two years younger is a Class E felony in Tennessee. When the casual exchange is between adults, the punishments are the same as possession. With a Class E felony, you could serve one to six years in prison and pay up to a $5,000 fine.


The sale of 0.5 ounces to 10 pounds of marijuana is a Class E felony in Tennessee. On a first felony drug offense, you have a minimum fine of $2,000. There are minimum fines of $2,500 for your second offense and $3,000 for your third offense.

The sale of 10 pounds and 1 gram to 70 pounds is a Class D felony. The maximum fine is $50,000 for this offense. The sale of 70 pounds and 1 gram is a Class B felony. Over 700 pounds of marijuana is a Class A felony. If you sold marijuana to a minor or in a drug-free zone, then Tennessee bumps up your charge to the next felony.

Tennessee has eased up some of its marijuana laws, but it pales in comparison to some other states. You might find yourself faced with a felony charge, depending on the details of your case.

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