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Will Tennessee be the next state to legalize medical marijuana?

If you are a Tennessee resident who suffers from an illness that might benefit from cannabis, a/k/a marijuana, treatment, you will be happy to know that a bill has just been introduced in the Tennessee House of Representatives. If passed into law, this bill would legalize medical marijuana in our state.

As reported by The Tennessean, the bill was introduced by two Republican representatives who believe that medical marijuana could benefit up to 65,000 Tennesseans dealing with a variety of conditions including the following:

  • Cancer
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Hepatitis C
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease

Tennessee Medical Cannabis Commission

One of the bill’s provision is the establishment of a state board composed of doctors, law enforcement officials, pharmacists, patient advocates and educators. This commission would regulate who can obtain medical marijuana and in what quantities. You and other qualified Tennesseans would be required to obtain state registration cards. The cards would contain a chip reader that monitors your medical marijuana purchases, and law enforcement officials would have access to this information.

The commission also would monitor the production and distribution of marijuana. The bill calls for only cannabis oil-based products to be allowed, not raw marijuana. In addition, you would only be allowed to purchase medical marijuana products, such as pills and lotions, at a licensed dispensary. Individual counties, cities and towns would have the right decide for themselves whether or not to allow dispensaries in their jurisdiction.

Upcoming battle

Passage of the new bill in the Senate and signature by the governor are not sure things. As you no doubt realize, Tennessee has some very stringent marijuana laws, and many public officials are hesitant, at best, to see the law change. Nevertheless, public pressure to legalize medical marijuana is high in Tennessee, as it is across the nation.

To date, 29 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, but only eight states have legalized recreational marijuana. Obviously, Tennessee is not one of these states, and the possession, sale and production of marijuana is still illegal in our state. This information is presented for educational purposes and is not intended to provide legal advice.

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