Senate Amendment Delays Implementation of Tennessee Medical Cannabis Legislation
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Senate Amendment Delays Implementation of Tennessee Medical Cannabis Legislation

A bill to legalize medical cannabis in the state passed the Senate after it was amended to delay its implementation until the federal government shifts its policy on cannabis.

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March 12, 2020

The Tennessee Senate approved a bill to legalize medical cannabis in the state March 11, after the legislation was amended to delay its implementation until the federal government shifts its policy on cannabis, according to a Tennessean report.

Sen. Steve Dickerson and Rep. Bryan Terry introduced the bill to allow qualified patients to access cannabis oils, tinctures, lotions and capsules but not smokable cannabis, vapes or edibles.

The legislation would create a regulatory framework for licensed businesses to grow and sell cannabis products, and would establish a new regulatory body, called the Clinical Cannabis Commission, which would issue medical cannabis cards to patients with one of a few dozen qualifying conditions who have been given a recommendation from a medical practitioner.

Medical cannabis sales would have launched next year under the original version of the bill, but the new amendment, introduced by Sen. Bo Watson, delays the legislation’s enactment until if and when the federal government reclassifies cannabis from a Schedule I drug to Schedule II under the Controlled Substances Act, the Tennessean reported.

The legislation now advances to the Senate Government Operations Committee for further consideration, according to the news outlet.

A separate version of the bill that does not contain Watson’s amendment is scheduled to be debated in the House Health Committee next week, the Tennessean reported.