The House of Representatives Health Committee will discuss the bill on Wednesday.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee bill that would establish the framework for a medical marijuana program in the state passed a subcommittee in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
The bill, HB 2641, was introduced by Representative Bryan Terry (R – Murfreesboro) and would establish the framework for a medical marijuana program to start on July 1, 2023, overseen by the medical cannabis commission.
They would continue acting as an advisory board about marijuana but would also be able to propose legislation more freely. The bill would also take existing laws that allow people to have some specific kinds of cannabis products and condense them into a single rule that allows people to have cannabis products as long as there is less than 0.9% of THC present in them.
The bill would also allow people in Tennessee who were diagnosed by licensed physicians as having a qualifying condition to apply for a patient identification card. They will be eligible for one if they have diagnoses like Alzheimer’s disease, end-stage cancer, epilepsy, HIV or sickle cell disease.
The bill would also allow people over 21 years old to apply for a “designated caregiver identification card.” The bill describes specific fees they would need to pay for the card, including a $35 application fee and a $50 issuance fee.
Applicants would need to have a written certification from a physician that they have been diagnosed with a qualifying illness. That certification would specifically not be a medical prescription for marijuana.
People with a patient identification card, or who are certified caregivers, would not face criminal prosecution if they have less than 3 grams of concentrated cannabis products or less than 3,000 mg of infused products.
People would be able to have oils, tinctures, patches, sprays intended for sublingual or buccal administration, capsules, pills, suppositories, ointments, lotions, lozenges, liquids and vapors. They could also have portions of the cannabis plant.
However, any cannabis products they have would need to be in the manufacturer’s original packaging and labeling. Dried leaves, flowers, seeds, roots, stems, stalks or fan leaves would not be allowed under the bill.
People would only be able to get products from Arkansas, Delaware, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Utah since those would be the states that meet the commission’s expectations.
The bill would also specifically people to lose child custody privileges, housing, school admission or employment because they have a qualified patient card. Police also would not be able to seize medical cannabis products that are allowed by the bill.
The House of Representatives Health Committee will discuss the bill on March 30.