Policy Recommendations Tennessee

2019-2020 Improvements and Recommendations for Tennessee

While public support in Tennessee for access to medical cannabis grows, Volunteer State lawmakers continue to struggle to pass legislation authorizing legal access. 2019 saw the State Senate debate medical cannabis legislation before the measure was tabled for 2020. This year, comprehensive medical legislation was introduced and later amended to delay legal medical access for Tennesseeans until the federal government reschedules cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act. This work was ultimately abandoned as lawmakers turned to COVID-related emergency measures.

As lawmakers look to 2021 ASA recommends a focus on building out from the state's limited CBD access program to establish a comprehensive medical cannabis program. Such a program should provide legal protections to patients related to employment, housing, education and family law. The system should also authorize an in-state production system for lab-tested medical cannabis and cannabis products that can be made available to patients at legal retailers. ASA also recommends that lawmakers authorize patients to cultivate cannabis at home to reduce costs to patients.