MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A bill to legalize medical marijuana in Tennessee is making its way through the state’s General Assembly, and is gaining support from some prominent Republicans.
The Medical Cannabis Act, HB 1749, is sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, and Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville. The bill would allow chemical extracts from cannabis in an oil based form to be used for strictly defined medical purposes, although smoking the raw plant still would be illegal.
The bill would require a prescription from a doctor for cannabis, and counties would need to to opt in through a referendum.
Monday, House Speaker Beth Harwell, a Nashville Republican, announced she would sign on as a cosponsor, along with Rep. Bryan Terry, a Murfreesboro doctor and chairman of the House Health Subcommittee.
“I believe it is time for us to take action on the state level with regards to medical marijuana,” Harwell said in a statement.
Harwell and Terry said medical marijuana has shown promise in alleviating condition such as seizures and opioid withdrawal.
The bill, one of more than 20 marijuana-related bills introduced by both Republicans and Democrats this session, is up for a reading in the House Health Subcommittee on Tuesday,