Tennessee Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Legalize Medical Cannabis

Tennessee State Senator Steve Dickerson, a physycian, and State Representative Jeremy Faison, both Republicans, introduced their plan to legalize medical cannabis today at a press conference.

medcannabisUnder the proposed law, the possession and use of cannabis and cannabis products would be legal for those who receive a recommendation from a physician. Qualifying medical conditions include ALS, HIV/AIDS, seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder, and Alzheimer’s disease; additional conditions can be added on the recommendation of the Department of Health and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

The measure would allow for 50 licensed cannabis cultivation centers; each would be allowed to operate an on-site dispensary, as well as two additional dispensaries. This would set the statewide limit at 150.

Physicians wanting to recommend medical cannabis would need to receive a special license to do so; patients would need to purchase a $35 card once they receive a recommendation to become an officially registered patient.

According to Dickerson, legalizing medical cannabis may help with the state’s opioid crisis; “I think there are significant anecdotes and some data that substantiate the proposition that medical cannabis will have a decrease on the consumption of opiates”, he said.

Dickerson also made the argument to his fellow Republicans that they should support this bill; “At its heart, I really do think this is a very Republican, conservative bill,” Dickerson said. “I know that’s a little counter-intuitive, but it gets the government out of our lives.”

The proposal will be discussed next month when the Tennessee Legislature reconvenes.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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