The Tennessee House’ Criminal Justice Committee ran out of time to vote on a controversial medical marijuana bill today, upsetting the bill’s main sponsor and civilians that traveled a long way to testify in support of the bill on Wednesday.
The upcoming vote could be the last chance for a medical marijuana bill to pass in Tennessee, and supporters will now have to wait even longer to find out if it will pass. The vote will be rescheduled but a date has not yet been announced.
Some lawmakers believe the change would benefit 65,000 Tennesseans.
The legislation would legalize oil-based products for use for specific medical conditions, ranging from cancer to PTSD.
There are several restrictions that would come with using medical marijuana if the bill passes. For example, it would be illegal to distribute to anyone without a license.
The bill also states that counties can opt out of the law if it was to pass. The counties would also need to pass an ordinance to keep medical marijuana out of their jurisdiction.
House Speaker Beth Harwell is a co-sponsor of the bill. She told News 4 she believes it could be a tool in the fight against opioid abuse.
Harwell says other states with medical marijuana programs have seen a decrease in opioid use.
The bill will need at least six votes from lawmakers on Capitol Hill. If it doesn’t get the votes it needs, the bill will be done for the year.