In February 2018, 23 Tennessee businesses were accused of selling candies that pertained a form of marijuana. The bulk closures were part of “Operation Candy Crush,” a program launched by Rutherford County Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh.
“Sheriff Fitzhugh says the stores were selling gummies and similar products that contained cannabidiol (CBD), a derivative of cannabis,” reported the Associated Press back in February.
However, CBD products derived from hemp are legal in Tennessee and a few weeks after Operation Candy Crush, all charges were dropped and the stores were allowed to re-open.
Now, a local businessman has filed a lawsuit asking for $500,000 in compensatory damages, among other things.
“James Swain Rieves, the owner of Platinum Vapor, LLC doing business as Cloud 9 Hemp has filed a lawsuit naming the defendants as the Town of Smyrna, Police Chief Kevin Arnold, Rutherford County, District Attorney Jennings Jones, Assistant District Attorney John Zimmermann, and Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh,” reports News Channel 5.
Channel 5 also reports that Rieves’ business was raided twice – the first in September 2017, in which authorities seized $60,000 worth of merchandise and equipment and again in February 2018 as part of Operation Candy Crush, in which tens of thousands of dollars of inventory was seized.
Read more about the lawsuit here.