Medical Marijuana in Tennessee
Medical Marijuana in Tennessee
Are you looking to get your medical marijuana in Tennessee? The talented team of doctors here at CalmEffect are here to help guide you through every single step of the process.
Keep reading to learn the calm effect and how to get your card for Medical Marijuana in Tennessee.
Medical Marijuana is Not Yet Legal in Tennessee
Tennessee Marijuana Law Lag Behind Other States - Medical Marijuana in Tennessee
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — State Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) filed legislation Friday that would allow retail sales of marijuana in Tennessee, with a 12% tax designated to education and infrastructure. SB 1849 would open the state up to marijuana growers, provided they have a license to do so, a business license and follow local zoning regulations, and it would allow sales of less than one-half ounce to consumers aged 21 and up at retail locations in compliance with local zoning. Half the revenue from the 12% tax would be earmarked for education, with 30% to infrastructure and 20% to the state’s general fund. A spokesman in Akbari’s office Friday said an analysis of projected revenues from the bill was not yet available. The spokesman said Akbari’s bill would benefit both public education and Tennessee farmers hurt by tariffs under the Trump administration’s rules, while bringing Tennessee in line with other states that allow retail marijuana sales. The bill is not scheduled for debate and no companion legislation has been filed in the House. State regulators would be responsible for creating policy for commercial sales of marijuana.
Last update: January 14, 2020
In November 2018, voters in three more states — Oklahoma, Missouri, and Utah — approved compassionate medical cannabis laws, bringing the total number of states with effective medical cannabis laws to 33. Tennessee is increasingly lonely as one of the remaining 17 states that criminalizes patients who use a far safer treatment option than opiates.
Unfortunately, Tennessee doesn’t have a voter initiative process, so only elected officials have the power to change state law. On February 7, 2019, Republican lawmakers introduced twin bills to allow medical cannabis in the Volunteer State — SB 486 and HB 637.
Sen. Janice Bowling and Rep. Ron Travis’ Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act would provide relief to patients with around 20 medical conditions, including cancer, chronic pain, seizures, spasms, opioid addiction, and PTSD. The legislature has a two-year session, and they returned to Nashville on January 14, 2020.
Unfortunately, House Speaker Cameron Sexton expressed reluctance to take up the issue, saying, “it's against federal law. And so, until that changes it's hard to have a discussion.” However, other states have passed medical cannabis despite the speakers’ reluctance.
Gov. Bill Lee said he wants to “explore alternatives before we go there.” But, hope is not lost. Multiple governors have allowed medical marijuana laws to become law despite their initial reluctance. You can send Speaker Sexton an appeal on Twitter or call his office at (615) 741-2343 and respectfully let him know patients deserve compassion, not criminalization. And don’t forget to write your own state senator and representative.
Current marijuana laws in Tennessee
Marijuana, for both medical and recreational uses, is not legal in Tennessee. However, there is an exception that allows the use of high-CBD, low-THC cannabis oil for seizure patients.
Possession and cultivation both remain illegal. Possession of any amount is a misdemeanor, punishable by one year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. Cultivation of 10 plants or less is a felony, punishable by one to six years in prison and a $5,000 fine, and the penalties increase significantly for each additional plant being grown.
Until 2016, third and subsequent convictions for the possession of marijuana were felonies, punishable by one to six years in prison and a fine of up to $3,000. But in 2016, the legislature reduced that penalty to a misdemeanor, so people convicted of non-violent possession of most drugs will no longer suffer the stigma of a lifelong felony record.
The state is blocking decriminalization. Meanwhile, the two largest cities in Tennessee – Memphis and Nashville – both passed ordinances in 2016 that gave an officer the discretion to charge someone with a civil infraction for possessing small amounts of marijuana. One of the reasons for this was that the criminal law has been enforced unequally: In 2010 in Tennessee, there were four African Americans arrested for marijuana possession for every white arrested, despite the fact that both races consume marijuana at about the same rate.
However, the legislature passed and then-Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill that repealed those local marijuana decriminalization laws. The bill said, “state government law preempts local government enactments with respect to the regulation of and appropriate sanctions for conduct involving drugs and other similar substances.” Now, with dozens of new lawmakers and a new governor, it’s time to renew the call for statewide reform. Please ask your legislators to support replacing criminal penalties with civil fines for simple possession.
Let's work to change the laws on Medical Marijuana in Tennessee.
Timeline of marijuana policy reform in Tennessee
1981: In 1981, HB 314 created a therapeutic research program — which was operational — for cancer chemotherapy or radiology or glaucoma (marijuana or THC). The program was administered by a Patient Qualification Review Board within the Board of Pharmacy, which was authorized to contract with the federal government for marijuana. The program was repealed by SB 1818 in 1992.
2015: Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed SB 280 into law, against his earlier opposition. The bill legalized the possession and use of marijuana to treat a limited number of severe conditions, including epilepsy. The bill has no provisions for legal sale, thus requiring patients to acquire the drug outside the state of Tennessee; possession of CBD oil without proof that it was obtained legally outside of Tennessee is a misdemeanor.
2016: Tennessee tweaked its ineffective low-THC law by enacting HB 2144 on May 20, 2016. The law provides that patients may possess CBD oils with no more than 0.9% THC if they have “a legal order or recommendation” for the oil and they or an immediate family member have been diagnosed with epilepsy by a Tennessee doctor.
2017: The legislature enacted HB 1164, modifying Tennessee’s industrial hemp law to allow the production of hemp with 0.3% THC or less. The law requires hemp growers to be licensed by the Department of Agriculture. It also provides that hemp is not marijuana under the state’s controlled substances act if it is either (a) viable and possessed by a licensed hemp grower, or (b) nonviable and is procured in accordance with department rules.
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9/15/20 - Tennessee Democratic congressional candidate Christopher Hale tweeted, "Why is that kids and veterans who smoke marijuana in rural Tennessee have criminal records, but the Wall Street executives who committed billions of dollars of consumer fraud and wrecked our economy do not? Let’s legalize weed now and invest the money in our schools and roads."
8/4/20 - Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate Marquita Bradshaw tweeted about her support for legalizing marijuana. Also, Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate James Mackler tweeted, "Legalizing #MedicalMarijuana is overdue. We must find alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders, reduce recidivism, end for-profit prisons & update flawed sentencing guidelines. If states want to legalize marijuana, the Federal govt shouldn’t stand in the way."
7/22/20 - Tennessee Democratic congressional candidate Noelle Bivens tweeted, "Cannabis should be a nonpartisan issue. It crosses the aisle and provides numerous solutions for multiple crises that we are facing: opioid, climate, poverty, pharma, medical, debt, and many more. It’s time that we reframe the conversation."
5/18/20 - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected a claim that Rutherford County, Tennessee police and prosecutors are entitled to prosecutorial immunity or qualified immunity over alleged misconduct during raids on stores selling CBD products.
5/15/20 - Tennessee Democratic congressional candidate Christopher Hale tweeted, "I told @SpeakerBoehner recently what I’m telling you: I’ll be the greatest pro-marijuana Congressman that God ever made."
5/4/20 - Tennessee Democratic congressional candidate Christopher Hale tweeted, "I began my campaign for Congress on 4/20, so I have a question: Why is it that kids and veterans who smoke marijuana have criminal records, but Wall Street executives who committed massive fraud and wrecked our economy do not? Tennessee and America, let’s legalize weed today."
3/12/20 - The Tennessee Senate Health and Welfare Committee approved a medical marijuana bill, though a last-minute amendment would prevent the program from taking effect until cannabis is federally rescheduled.
With a growing roster of Doctors who can prescribe cannabis all over the United States, Calm Effect is ready to help. Learn how you can get your medical card in Tennessee by filling out the form on this page.
By following these steps, if your doctor recommends medical marijuana as a solution for your condition and unique symptoms, you'll be eligible for a medical marijuana card with access to our growing roster of dispensaries across the entire state. Mail-order and walk ins are available.
If you are ready to start your journey with Medical Marijuana in Tennessee, we are here to help you.
Tennessee Medical Marijuana Doctors: Our Service Areas
Our roster of Medical Cannabis Doctors are ready to serve you in these areas and more. Once connecting with a Doctor through Calm Effect, you will have access to our roster of medical marijuana dispensary locations:
Our informed advisors can connect you with a Medical Marijuana in Tennessee Doctor and the medical marijuana dispensary closest to you.
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