A bill that would legalize cannabis for adults and medical cannabis for children will be considered by Tennessee lawmakers this week as the legislation is taken up by a key legislative committee. Companion bills for the legislation, titled the Free All Cannabis for Tennesseans Act (
“My constituents are regularly asking why are we dragging our feet on this,”
If approved, the bill would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to 60 grams of cannabis and as much as 15 grams of marijuana concentrates. The legislation also permits home cultivation of marijuana, with adults permitted to grow up to 12 cannabis plants under secure conditions. The measure would also permit parents or guardians to administer medicinal cannabis formulations to a minor authorized to use medical marijuana.
Using marijuana would be prohibited in public places and in vehicles including automobiles, aircraft and watercraft. The legislation allows employers to maintain bans on marijuana use for employees and job applicants.
Bill Includes 15% Marijuana Tax
The sponsors of the legislation say that legalizing cannabis will have economic and medical benefits for state residents.
“Let’s talk about the financial benefits this could have for our state,” said Freeman. “What could we fund differently? What could we fund better? We got the fiscal note back, and it’s hundreds of millions of dollars every year. States that have passed this before – it’s billions of dollars in additional state revenue.”
Campbell said that “80 percent of Tennesseans approve of some form of legalization, and continuing to criminalize cannabis at this point amounts to selective prosecution. While other states are enjoying the enormous tax and business revenues, our exposure to the complicated externalities just continue to increase.”
Additional Tennessee Cannabis Bills Pending
Tennessee lawmakers have also filed additional bills related to cannabis legalization for the current legislative session.
The legislation would allow patients with specified qualifying medical conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, end-stage cancer, epilepsy, HIV or sickle cell disease to receive a recommendation to use medical marijuana from a licensed physician. The bill also establishes a medical marijuana commission to oversee the program.
However, the bill does not include provisions for the cultivation of cannabis or the manufacturing of medical marijuana products. Instead, patients would be required to use products from Arkansas, Delaware, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Utah or other states approved by the commission. The bill does not legalize herbal forms of cannabis including flowers and leaves and is instead limited to cannabis topicals, oral formulations, vapes and other manufactured products.
Another bill introduced earlier this year by Sen. Sara Kyle and state Rep. Bruce Griffey would let Tennesse voters express their support for cannabis reform, although it would not legalize marijuana outright. Under