Tennessee Medical Marijuana Laws and Regulations

Tennessee’s medical cannabis law was signed in May 2014, creating an extremely narrow legal exception that does not protect the vast majority of residents. Under the law, licensed physicians can recommend cannabis oil that contains less than 0.9% THC, but only to treat severe seizure disorders. In Tennessee, cannabis must be produced and manufactured by a university in Putnam County as part of an approved clinical trial, effectively hampering supply. There is no legal protection offered for independent patient caregivers, dispensaries, producers or processors. Recommending physicians must supply a report to Tennessee’s General Assembly by January 2018 on the results of all cannabis research, including the number of patients involved, the parameters of the study and the outcomes of each participant. Minor changes were made in 2015 to fix problems which made the original law unworkable; however, it requires that patients transport cannabis oil across state lines in order to obtain their medicine.

Brief Summary of Legislation:

QUALIFYING PATIENTS

  • Must be diagnosed with an uncontrolled seizure disorder
  • Must be enrolled in an approved clinical research study
  • Must be under the care of a physician at a hospital or clinic affiliated with a school of medicine 
  • Must not possess forms of cannabis oil that contain over 0.9% tetrahydrocannibinol (THC)

RECOMMENDING CLINICIANS

  • Must be practicing at a hospital or associated clinic
  • Must be affiliated with an approved University’s school of medicine
  • Must be conducting clinical research on treatment for intractable seizures
  • Must report findings of patient study to the Tennessee Legislature by January 2018

PATIENT CAREGIVERS
No Explicit Legal Protection

CANNABIS CULTIVATORS
No Explicit Legal Protection

PRODUCT MANUFACTURERS
No Explicit Legal Protection

DISTRIBUTION FACILITIES
No Explicit Legal Protection

Law: 

SB 2531 (2014)

SB 280 (2015)

Program:

Tennessee Department of Health