Joint Committee Debates Medical Marijuana
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A joint committee met yesterday to debate medical marijuana legislation that would start an appointed commission to oversee regulations. One chairman of the committee, Rep. Jeremy Faison, introduced the proposal and advised that the bill would be the "strictest medical cannabis bills in America, but that's fine with me because I want the people who need it most to have it." He added that Tennessee is already one of the country’s top five states growing weed, and the state should have tax revenue for something that is already happening.
Faison believes that legalizing cannabis would also create between 50 to 100 jobs for every new cultivation facility. He also says that the current allowable amount of legal cannabis oil for sick children, which is .03 percent, is not strong enough for kids that have severe illnesses. The politician also said that people with sick children shouldn’t have to take their children to another state for treatment.
Governor Bill Haslam would be in charge of appointing a commission of doctors and other experts to regulate research, cultivation and dispensaries. The commission would also oversee licensing and dosage limits.
The bill would permit cannabidiol concentrates and products but would not permit seeds, plants or marijuana flowers. Regulations would only permit cultivators to extract cannabidiol for sale. The new legislation would also include a provision that would track cannabis oil with cards that would contain the amount of cannabis oil that the patient is permitted. Police and dispensaries would also be able to check the card in a database to ensure the patient is legal as well as confirm their allowable amount.
Allison Watson, who used to be an Assistant District Attorney in the state told the commission that the research that was needed on medical marijuana has been stalled by the DEA and the government. She added that 80 percent of arrests when she was an Assistant DA were for possession, and many of those needed it for medical conditions. "Patients in Tennessee do not simply have time to wait on the feds to fix the hypocritical problem they created." She added that 90 percent of republicans in the country support medical marijuana.