Two area lawmakers are sponsoring legislation to regulate medical marijuana in Tennessee.
State Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma, and Dayton Republican Rep. Ron Travis, said in a news release their proposal would apply to qualified patients with certain specific diagnoses. They could obtain medical cards and buy products from companies licensed by Tennessee and owned by Tennesseans to cultivate, process and dispense cannabis.
“I have been in the fight against opioids and pill mills,” Bowling said in the release. “Opioids have become a tragedy for Tennesseans. Our constituents can use a natural and effective option for pain relief that is not controlled or pushed by Big Pharma. When I see medical studies showing that states with medical cannabis programs had an average 23 percent drop in opioid prescription use and overdoses, I see a real option we can use.”
She said the bill differs from legislation proposed in previous years.
“I wanted a new bill that is Tennessee-specific and takes the best of what worked in other states and leaves out what did not. This bill delivers what I wanted,” Bowling said. “The legislature has not yet had that kind of bill to consider. The Bowling-Travis bill creates a fully functioning framework to license growing, producing and dispensing operations.”
Travis said he has studied medical cannabis products available in other states and is concerned that those are not available to people in Tennessee suffering from conditions such as epilepsy or cancer.