The Tennessee Valley Authority retracted a threat earlier this month to deny electricity service to cannabis operations, acknowledging in a Thursday statement that the agency is required to provide power to all customers in its service area.
“We want to be clear about TVA’s position regarding the implications for our energy service for Mississippi customers: TVA is committed to serving our customers with safe, reliable, and low-cost energy, and we will continue to do so,” books in the current situation. “There will be no interruption in service due to this newly signed law.”
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is a federally owned electric utility company that supplies power to millions of customers in Tennessee and parts of six surrounding southern states. In a statement obtained by reporters, TVA noted that despite statewide cannabis reform, marijuana remains an illegal substance federally. The statement was issued on February 2, the same day that Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves issued a statement I signed a bill To legalize medical marijuana in the state. TVA supplies power to local utilities that provide electricity to customers in thirty counties in northeastern Mississippi.
“While some states have enacted (or may soon enact) laws permitting the cultivation and distribution of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, marijuana, regardless of its purpose for use, remains a Schedule I substance under the Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970,” TVA books in her statement. “Federal resources and funds may not be used intentionally to facilitate activity that potentially violates federal law.” Given this important point, TVA will not direct any federal resources or funds to the cultivation and/or distribution of marijuana.
The statement also warned that if a TVA employee learns that a local utility provides electricity to a customer who is “engaged in an activity that may violate the federal law governing marijuana, the employee will report that activity to their management, and TVA management will make a report on our reporting obligations to agencies that may be It has the appropriate jurisdiction to enforce the Federal Controlled Substances Act.”
Federal and state officials have issued a TVA warning
The TVA statement drew swift reprimands from two US congressmen and members of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee. In a statement Thursday, representatives noted that TVA is obligated by federal law to provide the authority to all customers.
“The actions described in the February 2 memo, issued on the same day as Mississippi’s release of its medical marijuana program, ignore the democratic will of the people of Mississippi,” Cohen and Blumenauer said. books. “Any suggestion that TVA employees report end-use customers suspected of engaging in activity that includes marijuana is an insult to the people who voted to support the medical cannabis program, not to mention the state legislature and the governor, who overwhelmingly enacted the medical cannabis program.”
In a separate statement, Cohen said He said that if TVA followed its warnings, the agency would “unfortunately be far from keeping up with the American people, even after polls and elections repeatedly show how voters react when given a choice to influence access to cannabis.”
State officials in Mississippi also dismissed TVA’s warning to deny Energy Service its cannabis operations. Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Pressley reiterated TVA’s responsibility to provide power to all customers and noted that the agency has no authority over local power companies.
“The TVA statement has already caused some medical marijuana facilities to screen other areas of the state, thus potentially denying residents of northern Mississippi the benefits of the newly passed medical marijuana program,” Presley said. He said In a statement posted on Twitter on Thursday. “It is a well-established principle of state law that electric utilities have an obligation to serve customers without discrimination.”
“A medical marijuana facility licensed under Mississippi law is no different. My position, added Presley, is that any facility licensed for medical marijuana must be supplied with on-demand and on-demand electricity.” Once power is delivered by TVA to a local facility, TVA oversight ends and is guaranteed by state law and commission regulations The public service that controls it is that these utilities must be electrified like any other licensed company.”
Although TVA has acknowledged that it is obligated to provide electricity to all customers in its service area, the utilities indicated in a statement last week that they continue to seek advice from federal officials.
“The broader issue is a complex one and a conflict between state and federal law. We are looking to the appropriate federal agencies for further clarification and have asked for additional guidance. “Our service to our clients remains unchanged and we will continue to carry out our mission.”