2022: Things are Finally Looking Up for Medical Marijuana in Tennessee!
We know it feels like it’s taking forever for you to be able to get a Tennessee Marijuana Card, but try to look on the brightside: We’re closer than ever before to the day when Tennessee will get medical marijuana.
In fact, as frustrating as the wait has been, 2021 did give us a lot of reasons to stay optimistic and to keep on fighting for a real medical marijuana law in the Volunteer State. From legislative progress to unprecedented support for easing cannabis prohibitions to continued scientific evidence of the medicinal value of marijuana, 2021 was overall pretty kind to the cause of making medical marijuana accessible to all who need it.
May 27, 2021: Tennessee Gets Pre-Engaged to Medical Marijuana
We’ve been playing footsie with medical marijuana ever since 2015, when Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill into law that allowed epileptic people to use low-THC oil with a doctor’s recommendation.
And for nearly six years, that’s where Tennessee and medical marijuana stood. And then this year we took our courtship to a new level.
Legislature Flirts with Real Medical Marijuana Law…
The Senate actually came pretty close to voting to make cannabis an honest medicine this past year in late March. Senate Bill 854 would have established a real medical marijuana market here, but it ultimately died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
But very shortly thereafter, in May, that legislative body passed Senate Bill 118, a version of House Bill 480. This bill, which was signed into law by Governor Bill Lee on May 27, significantly expanded the state’s existing medical marijuana law.
First, the list of qualifying conditions for which a patient can use medical marijuana expanded from one condition to nine. Whereas previously only people with epilepsy or other seizure conditions were eligible to use low-THC oil, people with the following conditions now qualify:
Cancer, when such disease is diagnosed as end stage or the treatment produces related wasting illness, recalcitrant nausea and vomiting, or pain
But perhaps even more important was that the legislation included a real plan for considering expanding the law even further. It’s not a commitment to a full medical marijuana program, but it is an agreement to be open to such a commitment.
Law Creates Cannabis Commission to Study Establishing a Medical Marijuana Program in Tennessee
This new expanded medical marijuana law also calls for the creation of a nine-member commission “to prepare recommendations for how best to establish an effective, patient-focused medical marijuana program in Tennessee and include proposed legislation in its recommendations.”
Of course 1) the law makes acting on the commission’s recommendations dependent on the federal government first removing marijuana from the Schedule I list of controlled substances and 2) there is no guarantee that the commission will actually take their charge seriously.
So Far So Good for the Tennessee Medical Cannabis Commission
As to that first point, there is reason to be optimistic that the federal government may finally remove marijuana from the list of Schedule I drugs, a group of substances considered to have “no currently accepted medical use” and a “high potential for abuse.”
President Biden promised during his campaign to reclassify marijuana. Now consider that 91% of Americans support medical marijuana. On top of that, even some Republicans, who have traditionally been the biggest opponents of decriminalizing cannabis, have begun calling on Biden to fulfill his word on the issue.
Put it all together, and the president is going to face a lot of political pressure if he doesn’t come through by reclassifying marijuana, which would clear the way for the Tennessee commission’s work to actually have some teeth.
And as to that second point, that the commission won’t do any actual work, the commission has been meeting regularly, has monthly meetings scheduled throughout 2022, and has instructions posted at the Department of Health’s website on how citizens may present their views on medical marijuana.
2021 Showed that Public Opinion is Firmly Behind Medical Marijuana
Of course the legislature could go ahead and pass medical marijuana without waiting on the federal government to do the right thing, and if Tennessee lawmakers feel enough pressure from their constituents, that very well could happen. And 2021 offered plenty of evidence that public opinion is firmly behind medical marijuana, meaning our politicians may have no choice but to get with the times.
As we mentioned, 91% of Americans support medical marijuana. Here in Tennessee, that percentage drops off somewhat. A mere 81% of Tennesseeans support medical marijuana, a number that should give any prohibitionist legislators cause for pause.
If enough people in the Volunteer State reached out to their lawmakers to express their desire to see a real medical marijuana program come to Tennessee, the legislature would have no choice but to give up waiting on the federal government to act and instead join the thirty-six states with medical marijuana laws.
So make 2022 an even better year for cannabis progress, and let your representatives know that Tennessee is ready for the relief that only medical marijuana can provide!
Don’t Wait for the State or the Federal Government to Act. Get Ready for Medical Marijuana Right Now!
One last piece of good news before we go. While you have to wait for the state legislature to act before you can get medical marijuana in Tennessee, you don’t have to wait another day to get ready for the medicine’s inevitable arrival here!
Reserve an evaluation online today, and we’ll book an appointment for you with one of our compassionate doctors just as soon as Tennessee has a fully operational medical marijuana market.
You’ll meet with your doctor virtually, using your smartphone or computer for a telemedicine appointment. Together you’ll discuss your conditions, what medical marijuana might be able to do for you, and whether you qualify for a Tennessee Marijuana Card, all without even leaving your home. You’ll even save $25 off the cost of your evaluation!
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Tennessee Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (833) 781-5611, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Tennessee Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information!