Could Tennessee be the next state to legalize medical marijuana?
JACKSON, TN (WNBJ)
Many states have legalized medical or recreational marijuana over the last few years and Tennessee could be next.
There are two bills in committees right now, but it may still be a while before they come to a vote. One would create a medical marijuana program to allow qualified patients to be prescribed medical cannabis products (Tennessee General Assembly Legislation (tn.gov)). The other proposes a change to the constitution, allowing voters themselves to decide whether or not to create the program (Tennessee General Assembly Legislation (tn.gov)).
Sam Davis and his family currently grow hemp on their farm in Jackson and make CBD products. He believes it is time that Tennessee considers legalization of medical marijuana, “It makes sense for us to start talking about it in Tennessee and trying to find a good solution that fits both patient's needs…and the states needs and what they want and come to a good compromise and middle ground.”
Davis and his family also have personal reasons why they support medical marijuana, “My sister-in-law, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer four or five years ago and it was something that we always wanted to have access to and wanted her to have an opportunity to try.”
The family began to grow hemp and create CBD products to try and help. Davis says if Tennessee allowed marijuana to be grown for medical use, they would work with the state to become one of the farms growing the plant.
State representative Chris Todd said he expects the pieces of legislation will see many changes before they potentially come to a vote, but regardless of the details of the bill he said he will vote no on any bill to legalize marijuana. Todd said, “Anything that can come positive from a cannabis plant you can get from a hemp, every single component. When people talk about medical marijuana, every component you can get from the hemp plant that’s already legal to grow, legal to process in our state…so there’s no need to have medical marijuana or any other kind of marijuana.”
Representative Todd said that right now Tennessee is unlikely to be the next state to legalize marijuana, because the issue does not have much support in the general assembly.