Two Tennessee legislators have filed a bill requiring the Medical Cannabis Commission issue to issue its report by Jan 1, 2023.

State Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixon-SD11) filed SB2072 on January 27. 2022. State Representative Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro-HD48) filed the companion bill, HB2192, on January 31st, 2022.

The bill caption states: “As introduced, requires the medical cannabis commission to provide updated recommendations and legislation proposals by January 1, 2023, to establish an in-state, supply-based medical cannabis program. – Amends TCA Title 68, Chapter 7.”

The legislation amends Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 68-7-109 by adding that the commission shall update initiation recommendations and proposed legislation by January 1, 2023 to include provisions that address “The creation of an in-state, supply-based medical cannabis program”. Those provisions include:

(A) An application and licensing process for growing, processing,
and dispensing medical cannabis; and
(B) Testing protocols and laboratory certifications for medical
cannabis produced or sold in this state;

(2) The ability of a qualified patient to purchase medical cannabis from
retail dispensaries and through licensed pharmacists and pharmacies; and
(3) The fair taxation of medical cannabis, including:

(A) Consideration of franchise and excise taxes specific to
medical cannabis businesses, wholesale taxes, and sales and use taxes;
and (B) The allocation of revenues generated from medical cannabis

The legislation also amends Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 68-7-102(a) by deleting the second sentence and added the following as a purpose for the commission:

The commission shall serve as a resource for the study of federal and state laws
regarding medical cannabis and the preparation of legislation to establish an effective,
patient-focused medical cannabis program in this state.

The bill also says that the commission is to examine federal laws, laws and legislation in Tennessee relating to the medical use of cannabis, and “the effectiveness of other states’ laws and legislation.”

Senator Watson is a physical therapist. Representative Terry is a physician.

SB2072 has passed on first consideration and is awaiting more action. HB2192 was filed for introduction on Monday.

Previously reported, “Passed on first consideration” means that there were no objections to a bill proceeding through the legislative process and that it will be continue through the legislative process. A bill will often be passed on second consideration as the next step and then it is assigned to a committee for further consideration. It is commonplace for a bill to be further assigned to the respective committee’s subcommittee. If a bill is recommended for passage by the assigned committee(s), then it goes to calendar committee of the chamber it was filed in, and is generally scheduled for floor action.

If this legislation passes, it would take effect on July 1, 2022 and the committee would be compelled to give its report by January 1, 2023.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].