Fentanyl-laced cannabis cited as causing recent overdoses in Tennessee

Officials in Winchester, Tenn. last week responded to reports of three fentanyl overdoses. The powerful synthetic opioid was in cannabis in two of the cases, making it likely the individuals involved had no idea they were consuming the dangerous substance.


‘A new gold rush’: Tennessee hemp farming rises 1,100% in one year. Is it growing too fast?

More than 2,600 Tennessee farmers and businesses are licensed to grow hemp or CBD this spring — an increase of more than 1,100% in just one year.

But some experienced farmers say the state's newest cash crop is growing too fast. After years of pioneering Tennessee hemp, they say newcomers might be overextended and unprepared for the pitfalls of the alluring-yet-difficult crop.

“It’s like a new gold rush, and that’s not really a good thing,” said Bill Corbin, a Springfield farmer who is one of the veteran hemp growers in the state. “When that many people come into play so quickly, there are so many naive and gullible growers that are going to sign up with people who will promise them the moon.”


Tennessee medical marijuana bills are dead until 2020

Tennessee lawmakers have abruptly delayed all efforts to legalize medical marijuana until next year, abandoning several bills moments before the controversial topic was expected to be debated for the first time.

Sen. Steve Dickerson, a doctor who is one of the biggest advocates in the Tennessee legislature for medical marijuana, said during a Senate hearing Wednesday he was regrettably delaying all bills involving cannabis until 2020. The House also had rolled the bills until next year, Dickerson said.

Less than an hour before that hearing, Dickerson had intended to amend an existing bill to introduce a detailed proposal to legalize and regulate medical marijuana throughout Tennessee.


Tennessee bills protecting medical marijuana cardholders, possession up for debate

A bill protecting valid medical marijuana cardholders from other states when in Tennessee goes before the Criminal Justice Subcommittee on Wednesday.

SB260/HB234 would insure medical marijuana patients who are valid cardholders in other states would not be charged if they are found in possession of one-half ounce (14.175 grams) or less. Cardholders would also be okay to distribute under an ounce to another cardholder.


Coffee shop serves up CBD-oil infused lattes

Revelator Coffee Company began serving CBD oil-infused lattes in all four of its Birmingham locations on Monday, and has sold dozens of the drinks in the first two days.

The coffee shop charges $1 to add three drops of CBD oil to a drink. It's featured in the Golden Latte with Relyf CBD oil.

Cannabidiol, or CBD oil, which some people use as a treatment for physical ailments, is made from industrial hemp, which contains a tiny percentage of THC, the intoxicating substance found in marijuana.

CBD oil can also be derived from marijuana and the Alabama Legislature has allowed limited exceptions to the law against marijuana possession for the use of CBD oil.


Tennessee lawmaker proposes bill to legalize recreational marijuana

One state lawmaker said it's time to legalize recreational marijuana in Tennessee.

Recreational, let alone medical marijuana, are not yet legal in Tennessee.

"I think it's bad," said Christine Davis.

"I don't think recreational marijuana is nearly as dangerous as alcohol, which is already legal," said Kevin Papazian.

Sen. Sarah Kyle (D-District 30) of Memphis said now is the time for change. She's sponsoring a bill to legalize recreational marijuana.

"My whole point of bringing a bill to have marijuana available just like any alcohol is available is to have the discussion," said Kyle.

Kyle said the change is necessary for criminal justice reform.


Two marijuana decriminalization bills introduced in Tennessee

Two marijuana decriminalization bills have been introduced by lawmakers in the Tennessee legislature, according to media reports. One would decriminalize possession of less than one ounce of pot, while the other would protect holders of medical marijuana identification cards from other states. Both bills were sponsored in the Tennessee Senate by Democratic Sen. Sara Kyle and in the House of Representatives by fellow Democrat Rep. Gloria Johnson.


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." 


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