The bill also allows for patients with nine debilitating illnesses to possess cannabis oil that consists of 0.9% or less THC, the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. That amount constitutes a low dose of THC, slightly above the current legal amount of 0.3% for hemp oil.
Patients falling in those categories would still have to obtain the oil out of state, as sale of any marijuana is still illegal in Tennessee. The new law would merely prevent them from being prosecuted for possession of the oil.
New law creates commission, allows low THC oil
Gov. Bill Lee, who sent members of his administration to testify against Terry and Massey’s decriminalization bill, which would have allowed other types of cannabis products, has stood down on the new version and “removed his philosophical flag,” Terry told committees on Tuesday.
Bill outlines specific illnesses for medical cannabis oil
“We pared that down as much as we could,” said bill sponsor Sen. Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin, referring to a small portion of a wider-ranging piece of legislation by Sen. Becky Massey, R-Knoxville, and Rep. Bryan Terry, R-Murfreesboro.
These graphics show the progression through the past 20 years.
Over the past five years, time and again legislation has failed in committees at the state level.
Then, in 2012, the progression of other states joining in, plus Colorado and Washington legalizing recreational cannabis.
Colorado had medical cannabis all the way back in 2000.
Then in 2020, most states had legalized medical cannabis and all states but two had CBD oil.
“You can take prescription drugs, things like Xanax or Valium where you should not be driving a motor vehicle, you can take over the counter drugs like Benadryl and not be safe to operate a motor vehicle. Same thing [is] true for cannabis,” said Mike Lyttle, Assistant Director of the TBI Forensic Division.
For example, DUI related marijuana arrests went up since the state legalized recreational cannabis in 2012.