How the Byhalia Pipeline Affects the Cannabis Industry

Congressman Steve Cohen is demanding the Biden administration to lead the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw its permission for a proposed crude oil pipeline cut into various Tennessee neighborhoods. Congressman Cohen (D-TN) sent a notice to the White House earlier this week describing anxiety towards the Byhalia Connection Pipeline. This pipeline would run nearly 45 miles from Byhalia, Mississippi Valero refinery stationed in southwest Memphis. 

Aside from disrupting neighborhoods and soiling property values, the Byhalia Connection Pipeline hosts additional problems. Members of the cannabis industry are also displaying their resistance to the pipeline. More specifically, CBD farms are making their position against the pipeline recognized.

Understanding the Byhalia Pipeline

In 2019, Byhalia Pipeline LLC was established. The name of the LLC derives from the city in Mississippi, where the pipeline projects to start. Byhalia Pipeline LLC, a collective venture between Plains All American Pipeline and a companion company of oil giant Valero, sustains hope for the design. The Byhalia Pipeline is roughly 45 miles long. The organization stated that the juncture between two current pipelines would “strengthen the region’s economic [life] and American energy independence.” The club reiterated that the safety associated with the Memphis and North Mississippi project is of the highest priority.

Despite this, Congressman Cohen recognizes the Byhalia Pipeline would cut through well-known, predominantly African-American communities such as Boxtown and pass into the Memphis Sand Aquifer. The latter could corrupt the City of Memphis’ source of drinking water. The Byhalia Pipeline could also present adverse effects on the nearby soil.

The pipeline and oil concerns

As mentioned earlier, the Byhalia Pipeline poses harmful side effects to the city’s drinking water and soil. The same contaminants that can affect the drinking water in Memphis are also detrimental to cannabis cultivators. Many cannabis cultivators are vocal in opposing the pipeline for this very reason. It is worth pointing out that the current state of cannabis in Memphis is abnormally delicate. Cannabis is not legal in Tennessee, and the state has some of the most oppressing laws in the country. Recreational and medicinal use is not allowed in Tennessee. Previous legalization attempts have died in the water. CBD is currently legal in Tennessee. CBD that derives from hemp (the industrial form of cannabis) is allowed in Tennessee. However, CBD must have under 0.3% THC. These metrics are designed by the Farm Bill of 2018-19. Additionally, CBD oil with 0.9% THC is legal to possess for people who have epilepsy. Oddly enough, the latter is currently unobtainable in the state.

Cannabis cultivator POV on the pipeline

CBD farming is practically self-explanatory; it is the cultivation and harvesting of hemp-derived Cannabidiol (CBD) for medicinal use purposes. Since late 2018, CBD farming in Tennessee has become an economic foundation of the Volunteer State’s bud economy. According to the Rodale Institute, “As a cover crop, hemp enhances soil health by shading out weeds—reducing the need for synthetic herbicides—and adding diversity to crop rotations, improving soil health. Hemp contains a compound known as cannabidiol, or CBD that has therapeutic applications.” 

CBD activists in the Volunteer State believe that the Byhalia Pipeline will certainly damage the delicate CBD economy in the state. Furthermore, members of the bud industry are some of the most socially progressive individuals one will ever have the pleasure of encountering. Once cannabis administrators and CBD farmers were made aware of the pipeline’s logistics, they sprung into battle. Tainting oil pipelines that damage a town’s water supply and soil vitality while invading historical minority neighborhoods is a recipe for disaster. Many CBD farmers have joined the protest against the installation of the Byhalia Pipeline. Anticipate more updates on the pipeline in the coming weeks.

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