NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Tennessee Republican lawmakers will introduce a medical marijuana bill during this year's General Assembly.
State Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma) and Rep. Ron Travis (R-Dayton) announced Thursday they will lead the bill. The bill is currently going through the legal process.
According to a news release from the Tennessee Medical Cannabis Trade Association, the proposed bill would make medical cannabis available to those with a medical card who are diagnosed with specific conditions.
The medical marijuana would have to be bought from a Tennessee-licensed entity and owned by Tennessee to cultivate and distribute.
“I have been in the fight against opioids and pill mills. Opioids have become a tragedy for Tennesseans,” Bowling said. “Our constituents can use a natural and effective option for pain relief that is not controlled or pushed by Big Pharma. When I see medical studies showing that states with medical cannabis programs had an average 23 percent drop in opioid prescription use and overdoses, I see a real option we can use.”
“I wanted a new bill that is Tennessee-specific and takes the best of what worked in other states and leaves out what did not. This bill delivers what I wanted,” Bowling added. “The legislature has not yet had that kind of bill to consider. The Bowling-Travis bill creates a fully functioning framework to license growing, producing and dispensing operations.”
Legalization is under way in several other states, including Georgia, South Carolina and Mississippi.