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.
Rep. John Mark Windle, D-Livingston, said in committee it was wrong Tennessee still wasn’t allowing farmers to grow the product.
New law creates commission, allows low THC oil
Meanwhile, Rep Chris Todd, R-Madison County, argued that states that implement medical marijuana would quickly legalize recreational marijuana. More than two dozen states allow medical marijuana but not recreational use of the drug.
Bill outlines specific illnesses for medical cannabis oil
That means Lee is expected to sign the legislation into law.
These graphics show the progression through the past 20 years.
For example, DUI related marijuana arrests went up since the state legalized recreational cannabis in 2012.
The road to legal medical cannabis has proven complicated in Tennessee.
The Medical Cannabis Commission is tasked with studying the drug. They’ve heard from people who are advocates for legalization and also law enforcement with concerns about the potential impact.
Medical cannabis legalization is on a quick pace nationwide.
Law enforcement often points to places like Colorado to show the impact of legalization.
But, at the same time, the state increased the number of law enforcement officers trained to identify such crime.
Product safety testing
Will Tennessee impose a residency requirement for cannabis licensees? Many states only issue cannabis licenses to companies with majority ownership attributable to in-state residents. Whether these residency requirements pass muster under the U.S. Constitution is far from clear (as we’ve written about here).
Tennessee Medical Cannabis Commission – An Important First Step
Developing a “recommended standard of care” for medical cannabis
But change may be on the horizon. The same statute that minimally expanded Tennessee’s medical cannabis program also established Tennessee’s Medical Cannabis Commission, whose purpose is to “serve as a resource for the study of federal and state laws regarding medical cannabis and the preparation of legislation to establish an effective, patient-focused medical cannabis program[.]” But the statute does not yet “authorize a medical cannabis program to operate” in Tennessee, and “licenses for such a program shall not be issued … until marijuana is removed from Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act.”
Big Picture Questions for the Commission
Which patients should qualify for medical cannabis