Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) signed a bill legalizing limited use of medical marijuana for the treatment of certain illnesses, The Tennessean reported.
The new law, which takes effect immediately, allows those patients suffering from seizures or epilepsy who have “received a recommendation from a doctor” to use cannabis oil from strains like ‘Charlotte’s Web,’ which are low in THC but high in cannabidiol.
Haslam told reporters yesterday:
“I’m going to trust people like John Dreyzehner, our commissioner (of the Tennessee Department of Health), in terms of the fears that he has around medical marijuana and some of these issues there versus cannabis oil, which he feels like can help some people in very specific situations.”
Tennessee’s law is similar to one passed last year in Florida, the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act. Also known as the “Charlotte’s Web Act,” the legislation allows for the use of that single strain of medical marijuana in the form of oil to treat epilepsy and other conditions involving seizures.
Despite being signed into effect in June of last year, Florida’s patients have yet to actually start using Charlotte’s Web. Legislative roadblocks have repeatedly held up the planting and cultivation of the plant in the state.
Recently, a twelve-member panel agreed to replace the originally-planned lottery system for choosing which nurseries in the state would be allowed to grow the low-THC, high-cannabidiol strain of marijuana. Instead, a scorecard system is being developed.
Next, the panel will have to deal with a 21-day public comment window in which the proposed scorecard system can be challenged …
If there is [a challenge], however, there would have to be another hearing over the rules and “another round of rule-making” like the one the panel recently had. And even if the proposed plan makes it through the 21-day comment period, it could take at least two months before it could go into effect.
If a plan doesn’t make it through the hearings and “round of rule-making,” the discussion could ultimately be pushed back to January of 2016, further delaying patients receiving the treatment they desperately need.