Updated on November 19, 2021. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
When it comes to medical marijuana, the southern regions of the United States are a hard sell. Many states have a low-THC medical cannabis program like Tennessee. And a limited number of qualifying health conditions. In states with restrictive medical marijuana programs, patients feel that they are not given sufficient potency THC to cope with symptoms. And advocacy groups hope for further medical cannabis reform to expand the MMJ program in Tennessee.
The expansion of the medical marijuana program in Tennessee was not everything patients were expecting in 2021. On May 27, 2021, new legislation slightly expanded the list of medical conditions to qualify for a Tennessee marijuana card.
But what was positive news is that a study is now funded to see whether Tennessee can enact a medical cannabis program that is similar to other states. One with greater flexibility in terms of medicinal cannabis products and additional qualifying health conditions.
Tennessee medical cardholders may currently only be provided with THC oil that is 0.90% in potency or less. Basically it is CBD oil. Many patients feel the low-THC cap is insufficient to help patients manage specific health symptoms like chronic pain.
Patients over the age of eighteen (18) years may legally use low-THC CBD oil in Tennessee. To be eligible to apply for a medical cannabis card, patients must have one or more than one diagnosed health condition mandated by the state.
The qualifying health conditions to apply for a medical card in Tennessee include:
Patients must have a letter from a physician licensed to practice in Tennessee, which attests to the qualifying health condition diagnosis. The letter must also indicate that conventional treatment methods were unsuccessful at managing symptoms for the patient.
High-CBD and low-THC cannabis oil of 0.90% THC or lower is the only type of medical cannabis available for patients right now in Tennessee. No other kind of cannabis is available for legal use.
There is no official age requirement right now for medical cannabis in Tennessee. That is because of the limited low-THC oil available. However, patients younger than eighteen (18) years of age require a legal guardian or parent as a registered caregiver.
Patients do not have to create their patient profiles. That is because there is technically no medical card in Tennessee. After a physician approves the use of low-THC cannabis oil for treatments, the patient is prescribed it like a standard medication.
The doctor who completed your medical health evaluation may agree that low-THC cannabis is safe for you to use. And that it may help with your current symptoms. When that happens, the doctor will ‘prescribe’ your medical cannabis, which will be dispensed at a pharmacy. The potency and how much low-THC cannabis oil patients receive are up to the referring physician’s discretion.
Yes. The only type of medical cannabis available for patients in Tennessee is low-THC of 0.91% potency or less. Parents with a child that has a chronic health condition or debilitating symptoms may apply to have the minor registered in the Tennessee medical cannabis program.
Each child under the age of eighteen (18) years requires a caregiver to be designated. That is a parent or legal guardian responsible for the child. The caregiver can seek consultation with a physician about potency levels of cannabis oil.
The Tennessee medical cannabis registered caregiver may purchase, pick up, and administer the cannabis oil to the child. According to the directions of the supervising physician.
Under State Bill 486, a Tennessee adult over the age of twenty-one (21) years can become a caregiver in the statewide medical cannabis program. A caregiver is responsible for assisting a minor by purchasing low-THC cannabis oil and following physician-provided guidelines.
Caregivers in Tennessee may not provide assistance to more than ten patients. The application fee to become a caregiver is $65. The caregiver may not work for, be a part owner or stockholder, or an employee of any dispensary, testing facility, or licensed cannabis provider.
The caregiver must also provide a letter indicating the relationship between the provided caregiver and the qualified patient. This is an important part of the caregiver application process to demonstrate that the caregiver is known and trusted by the patient.
There is currently no medical card to renew in Tennessee. No medical cards are issued to patients right now because Tennessee does not have a legalized cannabis program for qualified patients.
There is no medical card issued for patients in Tennessee. So, the good news is, you can’t misplace your TN medical card.
For now, you can’t get medical cannabis in Tennessee. You can buy low-THC cannabidiol or CBD.
Medical marijuana is not legalized in Tennessee at the time of writing.
April, 2015—Senate Bill 280 makes it legal for a patient to possess and use marijuana oil if they have a medical card from another state. However, the visiting patient must have a written lawful order or recommendation from another state.
The legislation also requires: ”Proof that the person or the person’s immediate family member has been diagnosed with intractable seizures by a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathic medicine who is licensed to practice medicine in the state of Tennessee.”
Source Web 2021: wapp.capitol.ten.gov
March, 2021—House Representatives Janice Bowling and Iris Rudder filed bills to legalize medical marijuana in Tennessee. Specifically to treat severe medical conditions. The bill was filed on March 23, 2021, but died in the Senate.
SB 0854 and HB 0621 would have created a bonafide medical cannabis program in Tennessee. The proposed legislation also contained a framework for licensing cultivators, processors and governing the transportation and selling of cannabis through retail dispensaries.
Source Web 2021: capitol.tn.gov
Tennessee Medical Cannabis Commission
710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243
A strongly-worded editorial in The Chattanoogan newspaper published on March 6, 2017, showed support for a workable Tennessee medical marijuana program. It criticized the state’s health commissioner for saying that expanding the program would do more harm than good. The editorial stated that “the swamp of deceit” state leaders are trying to foist on citizens “could not get any deeper.” It was written by a representative of a medical marijuana advocacy group, Safe Access Tennessee.
The commissioner’s opinion, the editorial stated, is 25 years out of date and is “out of step” with many medical professionals. According to the editorial, anywhere from 75-80 percent of doctors are in favor of medical marijuana, a number that mirrors the percentage of the general public that supports the use of medicinal weed. However, because U.S. federal law continues to insist cannabis offers no medical value, that continues to justify marijuana’s inclusion on the Schedule I list of controlled substances.
To be notified when the State of Tennessee passes legislature becoming a legal medical marijuana state, please sign up to the Tennessee waitlist.