Medical marijuana in Tennessee? Here's what to expect with new Governor Bill Lee

Medical marijuana in Tennessee? Here’s what to expect with new Governor Bill Lee

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Marijuana will be available recreationally in Michigan and medicinally in Missouri and Utah. USA TODAY Buy Photo Voters in Michigan, Utah and Missouri legalized marijuana for medical or recreation use on Tuesday , spreading some form of legal pot to 33 states as Americans broadly accept this once forbidden drug. But Tennessee — based on its choice for a new governor — is not moving with the pack. Bill Lee, a Republican businessman who handily defeated Democrat Karl Dean in the gubernatorial race , has said previously he is opposed to medical marijuana legislation and marijuana decriminalization . Lee has also said he remains unconvinced by the medical use of cannabidiol oils, despite taking the helm of a state with a booming hemp farming industry. "I think we’ve yet to fully search and fully utilize and fully research and expand on the use of nonaddictive, low-THC CBD oils in this state as a treatment for those conditions," Lee said during a gubernatorial debate in October. "For me, the data is not substantive enough to show that medical marijuana is the right approach right now. I would pursue other options first." Lee expanded on his comments on cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, during another debate in September, saying he wanted further evaluation of current laws that allow limited use of the substance . Lee said he wanted more research on how CBD is being used by patients and what impact the law has had on law enforcement. Despite growing public support for legalization nationwide, Lee’s opposition to marijuana and hesitation on CBD could be another obstacle in the uphill push for medical marijuana in Tennessee. Prior legislative efforts, backed by a few state lawmakers, have struggled to find support in Tennessee’s largely conservative Senate. Two Republican lawmakers, Rep. Bryan Terry […]

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