Commercial grade cannabis inside of a licensed grow operation.

Sarah Climaco

Re-written Tennessee MMJ Bill Requires Doctor Prescription; Sponsor Calls Process ‘Political Mumbo Jumbo’

The bill to legalize medical cannabis in Tennessee has been rewritten and the new version would make the program virtually unworkable as it calls for physicians to write a prescription for program access, rather than a recommendation, according to a Tennessean report. Rep. Jeremy Faison, the bill sponsor who also introduced the amendment, said he was forced to rework the measure “to meet the needs” of the House Criminal Justice Committee, calling the situation “political mumbo jumbo.”

The new bill would allow medical cannabis access for 15 qualifying conditions, including:

  • cancer
  • HIV and AIDS
  • hepatitis C
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • severe arthritis
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • ulcerative colitis
  • multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • schizophrenia
  • or a number of chronic or debilitating diseases

The original measure would have required patients to obtain a registration card, with a chip reader, from the state; however, the new measure would only allow those with qualifying conditions to obtain a doctor’s note prescribing cannabis to prevent them from being arrested and prosecuted. Faison said the new language would likely require patients to get those notes from out-of-state physicians. Language to create a state board to regulate the program was also scrapped.

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