Republican lawmakers in Tennessee have introduced legislation to create a medical cannabis commission to analyze what steps it should take if cannabis were removed from its Schedule I classification under federal law, Fox 17 News reports. Tennessee is one of just six states that do not have a medical cannabis program.
According to the bill text, the nine-person commission would examine potential patient qualification and registration, how health professionals prescribe – and how pharmacists dispense – medical cannabis, testing, guidelines, and licensing and regulation of facilities and suppliers. Additionally, it would consider cannabis taxes and fees on cannabis and current state cannabis laws.
The commission would be comprised of members – experts in health care, mental health, business, management, agriculture, and law enforcement – representing each of the state’s three grand divisions along with a physician and a pharmacist.
A cannabis decriminalization proposal was introduced in the state House in January, followed by a broad adult-use bill in the Senate. Medical cannabis bills are also expected to be introduced in the House.
In the Senate, the medical cannabis commission bill is in the chamber’s Government Operations Committee, with a scheduled hearing on Thursday. In the House, it was referred to the Health Subcommittee.
Earlier this month, Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY), and Sens. Cory Booker (NJ) and Ron Wyden (OR) said they would release a draft discussion bill on legalization “in the early part of this year.” Last year, the House approved the MORE Act, which would legalize cannabis federally, but the Senate – then Republican-controlled – did not take up the legislation. Were the measure to pass, it would trigger the creation of the medical cannabis commission in Tennessee under the proposal.
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