- Olivia Castro
Is Medical Marijuana Legal In Tennessee?
Good question! There is so much going on right now in Tennessee regarding medical marijuana and simply marijuana in general. Over the past year, there have been 17 different legislations in the works regarding mostly medical marijuana but also decriminalization of marijuana. Tennessee is moving fast and making moves to get medical marijuana to patients in the state and decriminalize marijuana as a whole!
The Schedule I Drug Issue
There has been a lot of resistance in the Republican party which has basically put it’s foot down on permitting marijuana even if it is in medicinal form. The party has stated that they will not support moving medical marijuana legalization forward until marijuana is reclassified into a different schedule.
Right now, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug. Schedule I is reserved for drugs that have no medical value and have a high potential for abuse and addiction. This has been the biggest issue for getting medical marijuana legislation passed not only is Tennessee but in any state! This scheduling is taken very seriously and groups marijuana into the same category as heroin, ecstasy and LSD. It also limits the amount of research that can be done on marijuana so it’s a catch 22! There is a lot of “mystery” behind the medicinal values of marijuana yet since it is a Schedule I drug, there is a limit on the research that can be done. Thankfully our Canadian and European friends have picked up the slack for us!
How Did Medical Marijuana Become a Schedule I Drug?
We all know about the “war on drugs” that spanned into the 1980’s and 1990’s in this country. In 1973 President Richard Nixon started the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) which was tasked to “fight” this war on drugs and enforce anti-drug policy. While this sounds on the surface all good and dandy, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding this subject and we are seeing the toxic effects of these policies to this day.
One of the many casualties of the war on drugs has been marijuana. As part of the Controlled Substance Act of the 1970’s, John Mitchell, who was later disgraced in the Watergate scandal, made marijuana a Schedule I drug stating that marijuana has no medicinal value and high potential for abuse and addiction. Congress approved of the scheduling and marijuana has been a Schedule I drug ever since.
This ruling has had devastating effects for patients around the country as we are clearly still dealing with the aftermath of this scheduling. We know that marijuana has medicinal properties and we also know that marijuana is not addictive. This is why it is so important to get marijuana rescheduled as it does not fit the criteria for a Schedule I Drug!
Will The Republicans Budge?
A Schedule I drug is considered the most dangerous drug out there. That is why the Republicans of Tennessee have been so hesitant to approve medical marijuana. But there have been some signs of hope! In Tennessee, there has been a growing number of Republicans, especially from rural areas, coming out and supporting a change in law that supports medical marijuana. But overall, stern Republicans are still hung up on the scheduling of marijuana as they feel they are breaking federal law by legalizing marijuana in the state.
The push of medical marijuana has seemed to plateaued lately as well. This is because the two politicians that started the medical marijuana conversations are no longer taking part! The first, Senator Steve Dickerson, lost his reelection and the second, House Republican Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison, has become quiet now that he is in a leadership position.
Tennessee All Alone
Tennessee is seemingly all alone in it’s neck of the woods as so many of Tennessee’s surrounding state friends have allowed medical marijuana! Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, West Virginia and Missouri are all part of the medical marijuana crew. Illinois, which is just a short drive from Tennessee, has recreational use of marijuana legalized within the state!
Medical Marijuana-Related Bills in Tennessee
There have been 17 bills proposed over the last year to move medical marijuana forward in Tennessee and to decriminalize marijuana on the street. Here are some of the most important bills to keep an eye out for:
House Joint Resolution 85 will soon be heard by the House after passing through the Health committee and subcommittee. This will show Tennessee’s support for medical marijuana legislation only after the rescheduling of marijuana as a lower schedule drug.
House Bill 976/ Senate Bill 706 was filed by two Republicans to exclude additional terminology from the state’s definition of marijuana. Right now, CBD products are excluded and this bill would also exclude “a product approved as a prescription medication.” It is still unclear what these products are and how this will affect medical marijuana.
The Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act cleared the Senate but has not yet been taken on by the House. This bill would regulate medical marijuana and enact a full medical marijuana program in Tennessee. This is the bill that we want to keep our focus on!
Senate Bill 1439 / House Bill 413’s goal is to decriminalize small possession of marijuana as long as it is under an ounce.
Senate Bill 1359/ House Bill 1330 was proposed by two Democrats and prevents employers from taking adverse actions against employees or applicants that take a drug test showing that they use marijuana.
These are only a few of the 17 total bills that have been filed regarding marijuana in Tennessee. There is a lot to keep an eye on in this state but not to worry; we will have all the Tennessee medical marijuana information here that you need!
Is Medical Marijuana Legal In Tennessee?
As you can see, there is so much going on in Tennessee regarding medical marijuana. As of this moment, no. Medical marijuana is not legal in Tennessee but there are so many steps that are being taken to get us there!
As we head in the right direction, towards medical marijuana approval, here’s how we can help you get your medical marijuana card once registration is open to the public!
Once Medical Marijuana is Legal, How Do I Qualify?
The first thing that is going to be on your mind is how to qualify. To qualify for a marijuana card and legally purchase medical marijuana in Tennessee, you will likely need to meet the following qualifications:
Be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition
Have an official certification from a certified Tennessee doctor
Be a Tennessee resident with proof of residency (valid Tennessee driver’s license or state ID card)
Which Conditions Will Be Approved for a Tennessee Medical Marijuana Card?
While this list is not set-in stone, these are the many conditions that have been associated with the treatment of medical marijuana in other states, where medical marijuana is legal. Some state programs have a specific list of conditions that you need to be diagnosed with to qualify and others are “all conditions” states meaning that any debilitating condition allows you to qualify for treatment. As new information is released, we will update our website with the most accurate list, so you know exactly which conditions may qualify you for a Tennessee marijuana card!
Here are some of the most common conditions that use medical marijuana for treatment:
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Epilepsy or other seizures
Cachexia (weakness and wasting due to chronic illness)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Chronic or debilitating pain
Spinal cord disease or severe injury
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
If I Have A Qualifying Condition, How Do I Get Approved For a Tennessee Medical Marijuana Card?
In the future, when the Tennessee medical marijuana program is running and qualifying conditions are set in stone, the process will be easy!
The first step is to schedule an appointment with us online or by calling us at (833)781-5611. Step 2, submit your patients form, State ID and make your payment. Step 3, connect with our compassionate doctors using your phone or computer, as we are a telehealth company. Last but not least, receive your Tennessee Marijuana Card and get access to your medical marijuana medication at dispensaries.
It really is that simple and we can help you every step of the way!
Stay Connected With Us!
Here at Tennessee Marijuana Card, we're excited to help you get approved for medical marijuana as soon as Tennessee finalizes rules for a medical marijuana program. It shouldn't be much longer!
In the meantime, reserve your appointment by completing the form here, and you'll receive $25 off your evaluation!
You can also call our compassionate Patient Support Staff that are here to help you every step of the way at (833) 781-5611!