Hemp, CBD Oil Wellness Center Coming to Old City with Products Made in Knoxville

Knoxville-founded Blühen Botanicals has received a $30 million investment and will launch its own retail brand of hemp and CBD oil products, the company announced Monday. The hemp processing and extracting company also will open its flagship hemp wellness retail concept in the Old City this spring. Joe Fox is co-founder and CEO of Blühen Botanicals. CBD Oil:Blühen Botanicals enters $2B hemp industry “As quickly as this market is moving and as quickly as other brands are launching, we felt it was wise of us to push our team to open our brick-and-mortar sooner than I think anyone anticipated,” co-founder and managing partner Joe Fox said. A rendering shows the Blühen Botanicals retail wellness

Criminally Pregnant, Again: Tennessee’s Fetal Assault Law Won’t Die

Tennessee lawmakers are trying to revive a version of the Fetal Assault Law, originally passed in 2014 but allowed to sunset in 2016, after the state saw worsening outcomes for pregnant moms and babies. I wrote two blog entries when this law was first passed – you can read “Criminally Pregnant in Tennessee” Parts 1 and 2 from April 12, 2014 and April 26, 2014. The second blog entry was supposed to be satirical. (I won’t try that again, after two out of six commenters thought I was being serious about putting the “addicted babies” in jail.) This is the proposed law, in part: Notwithstanding subdivision (c)(1), nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution of a woman for assault under §39

Nurse Practitioners Not Allowed to Prescribe Drug Used to Treat Opioid Addiction

By: Kyle Horan NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nurse practitioners across the state are trying to prescribe a drug to treat opioid addiction. However, it’s not allowed in Tennessee. The CEO of Neighborhood Health, Brian Haile, wants that to change so their clinics can serve their clients in rural areas. There are clinics in both Lebanon and Hartsville that do not have a physician on staff. Therefore, the clinics cannot prescribe buprenorphine. There are other drugs on the market, but according to Haile, buprenorphine is the only one that’s proven to treat opioid addiction. "Nurse practitioners and physician assistants can absolutely prescribe opiates, but they can't prescribe treatment for the add

Tennessee Bill Would Limit Tobacco, Vape Sales to 21 and Up

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - - NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Several Tennessee lawmakers are pushing to increase the minimum age to buy tobacco or vaping products from 18 to 21. During a news conference Monday, Republicans Sen. Shane Reeves and Rep. Bob Ramsey said the bill would help address Tennessee's poor health rankings. Reeves delayed a committee vote Tuesday. More than a dozen health-related groups, Republican ex-U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and vape company JUUL are among the change's proponents. A fiscal note estimates the bill would annually cost the state $7 million and local governments $1 million through lost sales tax revenues. Reeves said it will save the state on tobacco users

West Tennessee Traffic Stop Leads to Discovery of 68 Pounds of Cocaine

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) - A traffic stop in West Tennessee last week led state troopers to the discovery of 68 pounds of cocaine. The stop happened on Feb. 13 along Interstate 40 in Henderson County. After speaking with the driver, 53-year-old Camilo Gonzalez, the trooper searched the vehicle and found three of the door panels had been tampered with, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. According to a release, troopers found 31 kilos of cocaine, weighing 68 pounds, within the doors. Gonzalez, of Miami, Florida was arrested for possession of cocaine for resale or delivery and was transported to the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office for booking. No additional

Drug Bust Made in Briceville

Last Wednesday, Feb. 13, agents with the 7th Judicial District Crime Task Force executed a series of search warrants at a residence in Briceville and seized a large amount of narcotics. Last Wednesday, Feb. 13, agents with the 7th Judicial District Crime Task Force executed a series of search warrants at a residence in Briceville and seized a large amount of narcotics. The search warrants led to the discovery of one pound and two ounces of methamphetamine, 21 grams of heroin, and hundreds of prescription pills, according to a news release from the office of Anderson County Sheriff Russell Barker issued today, Feb. 20. The suspect and owner of the property where the search warrants were serve

UT Surgeon Wants Doctors to Prescribe Fewer Opioids after Procedures

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — For many it's the first stop on the road to addiction: an opioid prescription after surgery. The pills may work, but they bring with them a long list of complications and the risk of addiction. In fact, University of Tennessee Medical Center surgeon Dr. Gregory J. Mancini says patients who take a 30-day opioid prescription have a 20 percent chance of continuing to use the drug after the month is over. That's why Mancini says he's trying to cut down on the amount of opioids he prescribes to the 600 or so patients he performs surgeries on each year. RELATED: Dentists use alternatives to opioids to fight addiction "I think it's important to understand physicians play an impor

Channel 10 Emmy Nominee

Still surreal I was nominated for my first Emmy last night. So proud of all the work we do and all the stories we get to tell! A true honor to work at Channel 10 Click Here to View the Full Post

Tennessee Sen. Briggs Pushing for New Law to Lock Pill Bottles

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Knoxville lawmaker is pushing for a new law to prevent opioid theft and abuse. Drug addiction specialists, medical professionals, and parents who lost a child due to drugs, all part of a statewide coalition called “STOP – Secure Tennessee’s Opioid Prescriptions,” joined Senator Richard Briggs (R-Knoxville) and Representative Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) to announce the bill known as “Pilfering Prevention Act" earlier this month. If passed, it will require certain dangerous prescription drugs to be given in lockable containers. On that list are opioids, stimulants, and benzodiazepines. Briggs said teens are 9 times more likely to get hooked by stealing pills than by buyi

Tennessee Pain Clinic Handed Out Opioids at 'Cattle Calls', Says Undercover Federal Agent

It was October 2017 when the undercover federal agent slipped into the Clarksville pain clinic for the third time, hiding in plain sight among dozens of patients crowded into a small waiting room. A receptionist called out 20 names, then the agent lined up with other patients. They were each handed a prescription slip. Then they waited. A few hours later, the receptionist called their names again, collected their money and handed all of them drugs. Dr. Samson Orusa The undercover agent paid $377. He left with 84 Oxycodone tablets, an anti-inflammation drug and a muscle relaxant. Nobody bothered to examine him. He never saw a doctor. This is how federal prosecutors say prescriptions were hand

Proposed Law Would Charge Expectant Mothers with Assault for Using Drugs While Pregnant

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Some Tennessee lawmakers want to criminalize drug use by pregnant women. House Bill 1168 would charge mothers with assault if their drug use is harmful to the child. Assault would include physical harm to the child and/or the birth of a drug-addicted baby. The bill is being sponsored by Senator Janice Bowling and Representative Terry Lynn Weaver. https://fox8.com/2019/02/13/proposed-law-would-charge-expectant-mothers-with-assault-for-using-drugs-while-pregnant/?fbclid=IwAR1LwCDJcUGilyLIZ5Mgz1NMBwVr_1mqUu1YsB7-JJ8zo9HlQ_PrbtiZ9SI

Tennessee Bill Would Prosecute Moms for Assault If Their Babies Are Born Drug-Dependent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee lawmakers are considering a bill that could be used to prosecute women for assault if they use illegal narcotics while pregnant and give birth to babies that are either drug-dependent or were otherwise harmed by the drugs. A similar law passed in 2014 but has since expired. According to the Huffington Post, an estimated 100 women were arrested under the previous law. The updated version, known as House Bill 1168, was filed last week. The proposed legislation is being sponsored by State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver and Sen. Janice Bowling -- both Republicans. If passed, the law would take effect on July 1. Click here to read the full text of the bill. https://www.wbir.c

Bill to Criminally Charge Mothers Who Use Drugs While Pregnant Proposed in Tennessee

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee lawmakers are considering a bill that could punish women for using illegal drugs while pregnant. The bill, Tennessee House Bill 1168, would allow prosecutors to charge women with assault if the baby is harmed because of drug use. This prosecution is only possible if the child is born with a related health issue or addicted to drugs. Stacey Matthews, a mother who was addicted to drugs and alcohol while pregnant 15 years ago, said she doesn't think the bill would do much good. "I struggled with just about anything I could get my hands on," she said. "It had a hold of me." Thankfully, her daughter was born healthy. While Matthews said she regrets what she did, she doe

Tennessee Bill Would Charge Pregnant Women Using Drugs If Baby Born Addicted

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--A Tennessee bill looks to prosecute pregnant women for assault if they use illegal drugs and the child is born addicted or harmed from the drug use. HB1168/SB0659 was filed last week by Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) and Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma). The bill states if a woman uses an illegal narcotic drug while pregnant and if the child is born addicted to or harmed by the narcotic drug and the addiction or harm is a result of the woman's illegal use of a narcotic drug while pregnant, that woman can be charged. The bill goes on to state a defense from prosecution will be allowed if the woman is actively enrolled in an addiction recovery program before the chi

Drug Related Death Task Force Named Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force of th

Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area announced the Drug Related Death Task Force as its Task Force of the Year. Task Force Commander, Sgt. Josh Shaffer of the Knoxville Police Department, accepted the award at AHIDTA’s executive board meeting in January on behalf of the task force. Founded under the direction of AHIDTA, the task force consists of the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office, Knox County Regional Forensic Center, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Knoxville Police Department, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The goal of the task force is to pursue the disrupti

Tennessee Bill Would Prosecute Illegal-Drug Using Pregnant Women If Their Child Is Born Addicted

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A bill introduced in the Tennessee Legislature would prosecute pregnant women for assault if they use illegal drugs and their child is born addicted or harmed from the drug use. Tennessee House Bill 1168/Senate Bill 0659 was filed last week by Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) and Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma). The bill states if a woman uses an illegal narcotic drug while pregnant and if the child is born addicted to or harmed by the narcotic drug and the addiction or harm is a result of the woman’s illegal use of a narcotic drug while pregnant, that woman can be charged with assault. The bill goes on to state a defense from prosecution would be allowed if the w

1 in 12 Tennesseans Is Disenfranchised

“James,” an ACLU-TN client, had been released from prison after serving time for federal wire fraud. He had fully completed his prison term, probation and parole, and regained custody of his daughter. He was getting his life back on track and, just like his neighbors, wanted the opportunity to vote in upcoming elections that affected his community and his family. The problem? Under Tennessee law he was ineligible to vote simply because he didn’t have enough money to pay what he owed in restitution and overdue child support payments, despite the fact that by that time he had regained custody of his daughter. Tennessee’s disenfranchisement laws are among the most complicated and onerous in the

Feds Halt Tenn. Pharmacies’ Opioid Dispensing for Time Being

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A federal prosecutor said Friday that the Justice Department has taken a first-of-its-kind action to temporarily stop two Tennessee pharmacies, their owner and three pharmacists from dispensing opioids and other controlled substances. Copies of court filings provided by U.S. Attorney Donald Cochran’s office say Celina, Tennessee-based Oakley Pharmacy Inc., known as Dale Hollow Pharmacy, and Xpress Pharmacy of Clay County LLC illegally filled thousands of opioid and other prescriptions without legitimate medical purpose. Two people have died and numerous others were hospitalized for overdoses shortly after obtaining drugs from the pharmacies, Cochran’s office said. The fili

Middle Tennessee Pharmacies Ordered to Stop Dispensing Opioids after Deaths, Overdoses

CELINA, Tenn. (WZTV) — Two pharmacies, their owner and three pharmacists in a small Tennessee town have been issued a restraining order after claims that their 'unlawful' dispensing of opioids is linked to two deaths and multiple overdoses. Last year, FOX 17 News reported on the DEA investigation into Celina, where agents said pharmacists bought 1.5 million pain pills in 2017. That's enough for 270 pain pills for every man, woman, and child living in Clay County. Now, the Justice Department has ordered a first-of-its-kind action to stop certain businesses from dispensing controlled substances. “The action supported today by the Drug Enforcement Administration should serve as a warning to tho

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If they're still alive, there's hope.