Charges dismissed in 'Candy Crush' saga

Feb 28, 2018 at 03:21 pm by Michelle Willard

Operation Candy Crush

The Rutherford County District Attorney filed papers Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 28 to dismiss all charges in the "Candy Crush" saga.

Earlier this month DA Jennings Jones obtained indictments for 21 individuals and charged them with felonies for possessing and selling a schedule VI drug, in the form of cannabidiol, a.k.a., CBD, at 23 stores across the county.

This afternoon Jones confirmed to Murfreesboro Voice he has filed the paperwork to dismiss all criminal and civil charges related to "Operation Candy Crush."

"All criminal charges will be dismissed and records expunged. All public nuisance actions will be dismissed and all property seized under the court's order will be returned," Jones said.

He added Judge Royce Taylor is on vacation so the orders won't be signed until he returns.

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Once that happens, Jones said, they can also resume selling the products.

"Unless TBI can tell me they can prove that it comes from marijuana, I'm not going to do a damn thing about it," he said.

One store owner said she is relieved to have the saga over.

"We are very grateful that charges are being dismissed," said Stacey Hamilton, who co-owns Kalediscope Custom Vapor Lounge. "I am of course dismayed that this horrible incident occurred at all. We were selling 100 percent legal hemp-derived products. The damages done by this malicious act will ripple out for a very long time. I genuinely hope those responsible for this horrific miscarriage of justice are held fully accountable."

Jones was also understandably angry Wednesday afternoon while explaining how he came to charge the store owners for selling a legal product.

The saga began when Smyrna Police Department officers bought items containing CBD and SPD had them tested

Jones said the TBI tests came back as a schedule VI substance. So more officers were dispatched across the county.

"They all came back as containing schedule VI with two being inconclusive," Jones said, citing the state law that prohibits the sale and use of a marijuana-derived CBD without a doctor's order.

"It is the duty of all law enforcement to prevent the sale of controlled substances," he said.

Jones presented the TBI's findings to a Rutherford County Grand Jury that then indicted the store owners.

The problem is there is a second Tennessee law that allows for the sale and use of industrial hemp-derived CBD.

"Chemists from TBI have now informed my office that they cannot determine whether the cannabidiol detected on these products came from a hemp plant or a marijuana plant," Jones said.

TBI also cannot determine how much THC might be in the products either.

"When they said that, it was my duty to immediately dismiss," he said.

Michelle Willard is a freelance journalist who fills her days with social media marketing, politics, true crime, and taking complaints. You can complain to her on Twitter @MichWillard or by email michelle(at)


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