At a time when many states in the United States of America are going ahead with the legalization of medical marijuana, it is only understandable for the people of Tennessee to also be interested in the status of medical marijuana in their own state too. In this article, we are going to discuss the status of medical marijuana in the state…read more
One of the most important states in the country, Tennessee has clearly done very well for itself. But as it is now, the state has a very complicated and controversial stance on marijuana, either recreational or medical. In May 2014, the medical cannabis law was signed but for those who were expecting something similar to what exists in California, they were severely disappointed.
The law was so restrictive that it was almost of no use for those who needed medical marijuana to treat their conditions. Because of the incredibly restrictive nature of this particular law, it was amended twice but the restrictions are still very much in place.
Under that legislation, the best that registered doctors can do is to give a prescription for only cannabis oil. But that is not even all, they can only do so for cannabis oil that has not more than 0.9% THC but can also only be applicable when it is for the treatment of serious seizure disorders. The law in Tennessee is that before cannabis can scale through the phase of an approved clinical trial, the production and manufacturing must be done by a university.
Eventually, the part that had to do with the university handling it was edited. Today, the law now gives a limit of up to 0.6% THC and any university in Tennessee can now take part and the research can be done a larger number of diseases. But the same law also stated that the study must be approved by the drug enforcement agency in the state.
What this means is that all these restrictions are making production difficult and are also making getting the product really hectic. In addition to this, there are no form of protection by the law for caregivers, farmers, dispensaries and other important stakeholders in the medical marijuana industry. Before doctors can get results of trials, they are mandated to provide a report to the state general assembly. All this is just frustrating and unnecessarily bureaucratic.
And before a patient can be given this medication, there are very stringent requirements put in place. One, he or she must have a diagnosis of severe seizure disorder. But that is not all, he or she must also be a participant in a certified study and must be getting care from a hospital. If the patient is lucky enough to meet all these criteria, he or she cannot have more than cannabis oil and that oil itself cannot have more than 0.9% tetrahydrocannibinol (THC). A similar set of restrictions is also placed on the physicians too while there is even no form of protection for other stakeholders like the processors, nurses, planters and so on. All these factors conspire to make life as miserable as possible for those who really need the medications.
Earlier in April 2019, lawmakers shot down all attempts to legalize marijuana in the state of Tennessee. The bill that was introduced to legalize and regulate medical marijuana in the state was rejected and that really sank the heart of millions who were eagerly waiting for the bill to be passed. The comprehensive bill made provisions for weed to be vaped, eaten or taken via skin patches with the only exception made of administration into the body via smoking.
The bill was introduced by Senator Steve Dickerson, known as one of the most prominent advocates for medical marijuana. Sadly, the bill did not get enough momentum in the legislature and it was dropped. What this means is that there will be no major talk of legalization of marijuana in Tennessee until at least 2020. The senator was trying to get an amendment done so that people who are sick and really need marijuana for their medical conditions can get the medications from registered dispensaries without delay. After his proposal for an amendment failed, he stated that he was not going to give up but also try again next year. If he succeeds next year, that will be a really big relief to countless patients waiting to get cannabis medications for their various ailments.
In late 2018 when voters in three additional states of Utah, Missouri and Oklahoma approved the medical use of cannabis, Tennessee was once again blasted as one of the 18 other states that have refused to decriminalize the medical use of cannabis for all patients. There is no voter initiative process in Tennessee so the residents will have to wait or visit neighboring states where medical marijuana is legal.