Weeks after Tennessee lawmakers sent legislation to expand the state’s medical marijuana program, Governor Bill Lee has signed it off. The new legislation will also create a commission to be in charge of broadening medical marijuana legalization.
Despite the wins, it frustrated some advocates that the just signed laws are yet to offer a comprehensive expansion proposal for the state’s medical marijuana. Once the bill is enacted, patients qualifying through the state’s regulations may be in possession of CBD oil with THC levels of up to 0.9%. This is three times the federal THC limit that distinguishes hemp from marijuana.
The list of conditions that qualifies patients currently includes intractable epilepsy. However, the approved legislation allows patients with inflammatory bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, cancer, and sickle cell disease to be included. Patients will need a recommendation from a qualified physician on top of proof of their condition when applying for the state ‘s legal medical marijuana program.
On the flip side, patients will have to get their medicine from outside the state rather than obtaining it illegally. Currently, there are no provisions legalizing the sale of marijuana in Tennessee. Simply put, the revised rules add a tiny blanket of protection for certain medical marijuana patients but with very strict circumstances.
Nine members will form the commission and will mainly focus on analyzing the state’s cannabis laws alongside federal regulations while helping prepare future bills that may legalize medical marijuana. Tennessee’s medical cannabis market depends on congress rescheduling marijuana at the federal level. Currently, marijuana is a schedule 1 drug despite some states legalizing the plant for both medical and recreational purposes.