LEARN | LAWS & REGULATIONS
Is weed legal in Tennessee?
Adult-use (recreational) weed is illegal. Cannabidiol (CBD) products containing less than 0.9% THC are legal for the treatment of intractable seizures.
Is medical marijuana legal in Tennessee?
Medical marijuana laws are very limited in Tennessee despite efforts in 2020 to put a legalization bill on the general election ballot. The one exception is for cannabidiol (CBD) products containing less than 0.9% THC for the treatment of intractable seizures, permitted by a 2015 law signed by Governor Bill Haslam. Medical cannabis treatment is only allowed in CBD oil form.
In recent years, anesthesiologists Rep. Bryan Terry and Sen. Steve Dickerson have been pushing for Tennessee medical marijuana legislation that would further explore the use of medical cannabis as treatment for qualifying conditions. Dickerson’s latest effort in 2018 dissolved when he saw that the medical use bill wouldn’t garner enough support.
Purchasing cannabis in Tennessee
Under current Tennessee marijuana laws, CBD oil must be acquired legally in the U.S. and outside of Tennessee.
The CBD oil must have a manufacturer’s label that says the product contains less than 0.9% THC, the predominant, intoxicating cannabinoid in cannabis. The oil must be purchased legally in the US outside of Tennessee and users must also have proof of legal purchase.
Weed possession laws in Tennessee
In 2020 Rep. Antonio Parkinson and Sen. Katrina Robinson pushed to raise the simple possession limit from 0.5 ounce of marijuana to 1 ounce of marijuana. However, their efforts have not been successful and possession of 0.5 ounce or less of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor in Tennessee punishable by up to a $250 fine and one year in jail. That said, the Nashville District Attorney’s Office announced in 2020 that it will no longer prosecute for possession of less than 0.5 ounce of marijuana , opening the door for other jurisdictions to follow suit. This decision does not mean that marijuana has been decriminalized in Tennessee.
A 2018 study conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) showed a strong racial disparity in drug enforcement actions in Tennessee with Black Americans arrested for weed possession at three times the rate of whites .
Home cultivation of marijuana is illegal in Tennessee.
Tennessee recognizes only conditions causing intractable seizures, such as epilepsy, as valid for using CBD.
This page was last updated September 25, 2020.View the cannabis & CBD laws & regulations for Tennessee.
Tennessee State Senator plans to push for legalizing medical cannabis, again
Posted: Nov 5, 2020 / 10:28 PM CST / Updated: Nov 6, 2020 / 05:01 AM CST
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A state senator has a renewed energy in her fight to legalize medical cannabis in Tennessee.
“Three and a half years ago, had you told me that I would be proposing legislation to support medical cannabis and the legalization of medical cannabis — I would have laughed in your face,” said Sen. Janice Bowling, R-District 16. “I was against it.”
Bowling has spent several years fighting for medical marijuana. In 2019, she brought forth physicians to testify before the State Senate’s Health and Welfare committee.
“Opioid use requirements decline when a patient is allowed to combine those with cannabis. And the cannabis, refreshingly for me as a prescriber, has no known lethal dose,” said Dr. Amy Neff, a family physician with St. Thomas Brentwood.
The success of other states now gives Bowling hope. She says she plans to re-introduce her bill at the State Senate session in January.
“We’re up to 43 states that have legalized it and many of the states around us have legalized it,” said Bowling. “We are being foolish in the worst sense of the word. Just incredibly foolish and incredibly lacking in responsiveness to what is now readily available for people to know that this is a safe medicine solution.”
After Bowling’s bill is introduced, it will be heard by a Senate Committee.
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