Tennessee lawmakers to introduce new, comprehensive medical marijuana bill

Two state lawmakers in Tennessee announced on Thursday that they plan to introduce a comprehensive medical marijuana legalization bill. Sen. Janice Bowling and Rep. Ron Travis plan to introduce the bill in the coming weeks, according to media reports.

Bowling said in a press release that she believes cannabis can be part of the solution to the nationwide epidemic of opioid overdose deaths.


This Nashville family is pushing for medical marijuana for their epileptic son

Nothing has worked as well as cannabis oil in reducing the seizures experienced by this Nashville family's son. The only problem is that Tennessee's strict cannabis laws are making it extremely difficult for their son to reap the benefits of medical marijuana, writes Calvin Hughes. 


TN lawmaker believes Medical marijuana bill will pass next year, help combat opioid crisis

A new medical marijuana bill will be proposed in the 2019 legislative session. Its co-sponsor believes the bill has a better chance of passing than in years past. 

State Senator Dr. Steve Dickerson has co-sponsored five medical marijuana bills in the Tennessee legislature. He says this new bill has a better chance at passing, in part because of Governor-Elect Bill Lee. 

Lee has expressed some concern about medical marijuana but also, appears to be open to the prospect. 

"For me, the data is not substantive enough to show that medical marijuana is the right approach right now," Lee said in News 2's Governor's debate with Karl Dean. "But if the people of Tennessee brought that and the data proved it, I would consider signing that bill if it passed." 


Hemp may be next big legal cash crop in Tennessee

Who says money doesn't grow on trees? Just ask some of the growing number of hemp farmers planting in Tennessee.

Many believe hemp is on the verge of becoming the state's next big cash crop. Go to a hemp farm and the plants literally glisten in the warm, fall sun, swaying in the breeze. "This looks like marijuana. It's pretty, isn't it," said grower, Clint Palmer.

It's hemp, and at long last many believe this is heir apparent to Tennessee tobacco. The crop is mature and ready for harvest.  "Is this the next big cash crop?" NewsChannel 5's Nick Beres asked. "One hundred percent, no way around it," said Palmer.


Tennessee Hemp Supply adds Clarksville business location

A new Clarksville businessis promoting natural "Tennessee-grown" wellness through the healing properties of hemp, minus the "high" associated with extracts for marijuana use.

The products retailed at Tennessee Hemp Supply, 2680 Trenton Road, are safe, proven and legal, says Trinity Mealor, president and CEO.

The chief ingredient and common denominator in Tennessee Hemp Supply's wide range of natural health products is CBD, short for Cannabidiol, which is extracted from hemp.

"We're trying to focus our attention on educating the community on the benefits and applications of CBD," Mealor said. "CBD is an active chemical compound that's found in the cannabis plant, and these are all good, effective products.


Researchers say cannabis can benefit people with multiple sclerosis

After a review of scientific studies, researchers say extracts from marijuana plants can help treat pain and spasticity symptoms in people with multiple sclerosis. A systematic review recently presented at the Consortium of MS Centers in Tennessee has concluded that cannabinoids may have “modest effects in multiple sclerosis for pain or spasticity.”

Researchers looked at the safety and effectiveness of cannabis as well as studying its impact on disability and disability progression, pain, spasticity, bladder function, tremor/ataxia, quality of life, and adverse effects. Five reviews concluded that there was sufficient evidence that cannabinoids may be beneficial for symptoms of pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS).


Tennessee medical marijuana bill dead for the year

One of the lead sponsors of a medical-marijuana bill in Tennessee withdrew the measure Tuesday after telling fellow lawmakers the legislation has been so watered down that passing it would actually harm rather than help patients.

Sen. Steve Dickerson, a Republican from Nashville who is also a medical doctor, said he worried that passing the bill as amended would only forestall the full legalization of medical marijuana in Tennessee. The lawmaker told his colleagues that he's committed to the proposition that medical marijuana is a medication that helps people with many ailments.

Dickerson promised to be back next year with a more permissive bill that would allow for the growing, processing, dispensing, regulation, and taxation of cannabis.


Tennessee: House committee approves, advances medical cannabis legislation

Over the objections of law enforcement and health officials, a second House committee approved a bill Wednesday that would legally allow some Tennesseans to use medical cannabis. 

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Crosby, would give those suffering from roughly a dozen maladies a legal defense if they are arrested and prosecuted for having cannabis, provided they have a doctor’s note prescribing the product.

The House Criminal Justice Committee advanced the legislation with a 9-2 vote. 


Tennessee lawmakers to vote on medical marijuana bill

Some Tennesseans traveled as far as two hours away from home to share why medical marijuana would help their illnesses Wednesday, but lawmakers ran out of time during a committee hearing.

After hearing some arguments against it, the bill’s sponsor Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, said he feels health and law enforcement agencies aren’t focused on the lives could save.

“That whole notion that this is a schedule one drug, you are a special kind of ignorant human being if you think this is still a Schedule I drug. That means there is no value to human life,” said Faison.

Andrea Houser traveled from Lawrenceburg, TN, to describe life with epilepsy. She‘s in favor of medical cannabis.


Tennessee weighs one argument for medical cannabis — Could it cut opioid use?

Melody Cashion rattles off the list of drugs she once needed just to function.

Lyrica, Gabapentin, methadone, oxycodone, valium.

There were more. But those were the every day ones.

The drugs stemmed the pain from a genetic nerve disorder, a disease the 44-year-old, Marshall County woman has struggled with since childhood. They allowed her to have something resembling a normal life, but she was often in a zombie-like state — and that was better than the alternative.

"If I missed a dose, I would get sick," she recalls. "If I tried to stop, I would get sick. I ended up in the hospital several times."

The withdrawal symptoms were causing her to vomit and get dehydrated.


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