NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Tennessee State Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma) introduced a bill on Monday that would pave the way for legalized medical marijuana across the state.

If passed, the Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act would create a framework to allow "qualified" patients to access medical cannabis on a regular basis, as well as regulate the process of licensing growers to cultivate, produce, distribute, transport, sell and acquire marijuana for medical use and scientific research.

In the bill, Sen. Bowling cites peer-reviewed medical research that proves there is a "statistical correlation between reduced opioid-use overdoses in states with medical cannabis programs."

She also references the fact that medical cannabis has already been legalized in 33 states and is accessible to more than two-thirds of the United States population.

The bill proposes that patients with "qualifying conditions" diagnosed by their healthcare provider would be able to apply for a medical cannabis card for $65 that expires every two years. An approved caregiver can also be appointed to purchase marijuana for patients under 18 

The "qualified conditions" listed in the bill are:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Epilepsy
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Muscular sclerosis
  • Opioid addiction
  • Renal failure
  • Severe nausea or chronic pain
  • Any medical condition producing cachexia, persistent muscle spasm or seizure
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 
  • Chronic radiculopathy
  • Severe psoriasis
  • Post-laminectomy syndrome
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Complex pain syndrome, including trigeminal neuralgia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson's disease
  • End-of-life pain management or palliative care
  • All "terminal" conditions, and any conditions approved by the commission pursuant to rule-making

For patients under 18 years old, the following conditions also apply:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta
  • Muscular dystrophy

The bill stipulates that, if passed, the program should be operational by no later than July 30, 2020. 

Stay with News4 for updates. 

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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