A far-reaching Tennessee medical cannabis bill passed a critical vote in the state Senate on Wednesday, but only after it was amended to delay its enactment, potentially indefinitely, until the federal government downgrades the illegality of marijuana.
The bill, introduced by two medical doctors, Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, and Rep. Bryan Terry, R-Murfreesboro, will now advance to a Senate Government Operations committee for further debate.
A separate version of the bill, which is not contingent on the federal government, is scheduled to be debated in the House health committee next week.
As written, the legislation would create a legal infrastructure for Tennesseans with qualifying medical conditions to legally purchase marijuana oils, tinctures, lotions, pills and suppositories, but not joints, vapes or most edible products. The bill would also create a new government body, the Clinical Cannabis Commission, responsible for licensing dispensaries and issuing cannabis cards to eligible residents in Tennessee and eight neighboring states.
Originally, the Senate bill would have allowed medical marijuana sales to begin next year. But a late amendment by Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, delays the bill’s enactment until if and when the federal government reduces marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II. [Read more at Tennesean]