Tennessee lawmakers set to consider new cannabis legalization bill

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One lawmaker in the state hopes to have more success pushing cannabis legislation

Tennessee has been one of those states where it has not found sufficient success in pursuing cannabis reform. A clear example was evidenced in 2021 when Republican Senator Janice Bowling proposed legalizing medical marijuana. While approved by a committee, the measure was subsequently rejected, leaving the Big Bend State without any major changes to its constitution. It appears that a new effort is now underway by some of Bowling’s colleagues, who hope to have a different outcome to bring this market to life once and for all.

Rep. Bryan Terry and Sen. Ferrell Haile are looking to give residents access to this famous plant. Their separate legislation received a hearing in the House Criminal Justice Committee and it looks like the state is gearing up for another new push.

SB2477/HB2458 is the bill that seeks to provide access to legal, medical cannabis to all those with qualifying medical conditions. In addition, the bill intends to regulate the production, cultivation, distribution, transportation, sale, and possession of cannabis for medical use and research.

The previous proposals gave Alabama the confidence it needed to move forward on this issue last year. So much so that Governor Kay Ivey enacted a medical cannabis bill, something that lawmakers saw as a bitter pill to swallow because Tennessee failed to achieve the same goal.

A bar and restaurant serving tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most Tennessee has managed to accomplish. Still, this compound is derived from hemp, which makes it federally legal. Terry and Haile hope to go beyond this and give residents a chance to benefit from the effects of medical marijuana.