Tennessee Lawmaker Pushing For Medical Marijuana

Posted at 10:48 PM, Feb 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-04 23:54:40-05

A Tennessee lawmaker has been hoping to change some minds about the use of medical marijuana in the state.

Representative Jeremy Faison has been working for three years gathering information and even visiting grow operations in Colorado.

He has now drafted an extensive 52-page bill that covers everything from seed to delivery.

"I'm going to show what we're doing, then bring the science in behind it,” Faison said.

The bill would allow for 50 growers, and the first 15 have to go to the most rural areas.

Faison said one grow could produce $20 million in revenue, plus 150 to 200 jobs.

The bill also allowed for ten qualifying diseases, including PTSD, cancer, and depression.

Here's how it would work: A doctor would prescribe the cannabis, then the department of health would send the patient a card.

Another lawmaker, Jimmy Matlock, said he promised he'd keep an open mind, but he's not sure that will lead to a "yes" vote.

"I've got to say my first inclination is I'm skeptical,” Matlock said. “It's a gateway into other drugs that are illegal. At this point, from what I understand from my colleagues, he does not have the votes to pass."

A 2014 poll by MTSU showed a vast majority of Tennesseans agree that seriously ill patients should have access to medical cannabis.

Lawmakers will be voting on this bill at the end of February.