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How to Get CBD Oil in Tennessee—Is It Legal?

How to Get CBD Oil in Tennessee—Is It Legal?

Regarding legal CBD oil, Tennessee seems to be in the grips of policy mood swings—now hot, now cold. Since 2016, Tennesseans can legally possess and use CBD oil for a limited number of health conditions. Yet, just as things look up for expansion of use, the pendulum swings to the other side, and general opinion is that in 2018, there will be no joy in this regard. House Bill 1749, introduced in January to “enact the ‘Medical Cannabis Act,’ establishing a medical cannabis commission for regulation of cannabis-related health care,” (paraphrased) is in recess. [1]

All is not looking down, though. Finding out how to get CBD oil in Tennessee may be difficult, but it’s not an impossibility and things are changing. So read on...

First, let’s glance at the legal considerations and how you can legally get CBD oil in Tennessee if you qualify.

Regarding legal CBD oil, Tennessee seems to be in the grips of policy mood swings—now hot, now cold.

RELATED: Is CBD Hemp Oil Legal in All 50 States?

Policy Reform in Tennessee—a Timeline

Lawmakers and law enforcers in this state are very reluctant to let go of the strict regulations against possession and use of marijuana and its compounds, both recreational and medical. However, times are a-changin’, and Tennesseans need to stay up to date with the rest of the states, if not the world.

1. 1981 and House Bill 314 saw the first move toward a more lenient approach regarding cannabis and its therapeutic applications. The Tennessee Board of Pharmacy administered a therapeutic research program for the use of marijuana in cancer chemotherapy or radiology, or glaucoma. The program was repealed in 1992.
    2. In 2014, Senate Bill 2531 got signed into law, but with such strict provisions that it limited legal access for the majority of Tennesseans. Only patients with intractable epilepsy can possess and use it without fear of prosecution. 
      3. 2015 and 2016 saw tweaks to amend the basically unworkable law. CBD got excluded from the definition of “marijuana,” and patients with a “legal order or recommendation” may possess CBD oils with a maximum of 0.9 percent THC content.
        How to get CBD oil in Tennessee? Well, qualifying patients must be:
          • Diagnosed with an intractable seizure disorder
          • Enrolled in an approved clinical research study
          • A patient of a doctor at a clinic or hospital affiliated with a university’s school of medicine
          Prescribing doctors must be:
            • Practicing at a hospital or clinic affiliated with an approved university school of medicine
            • Conducting clinical research on the treatment of intractable seizures
            • Have reported their findings of such study to the Tennessee Legislature at the beginning of 2018
              Caregivers, farmers and cultivators, and CBD oil producers and providers have, according to the law, no explicit legal protection. It also doesn’t make provision for in-state supply or distribution.

                Caregivers, farmers and cultivators, and CBD oil producers and providers have, according to the law, no explicit legal protection.

                This is how the regulations still stand, and they are still pretty restrictive.
                  At the time of writing, there was no supporting information available on how to get CBD oil in Tennessee on the state’s Department of Health website. Not surprising, considering that the legalities are still in flux regarding most applications for CBD oil in this state.
                    4. Come March 2018, more amendments to the bill were approved by a House committee that “eliminated a provision that would allow people to obtain medical cards from other states in order to legally hold cannabis in Tennessee,” according to Nashville’s daily, The Tennessean. This and other amendments were done to appease the more conservative lawmakers with the hope to get the bill pushed, but it proved an unfortunate move.
                      In what was a great boost for medical marijuana legislation in Tennessee earlier the same month, a bill was sponsored that included many more serious health conditions for treatment with CBD oil. This bill also did away with other restrictive measures, still excluding recreational marijuana use. According to the mentioned site, the following health conditions were included:
                        • Cancer
                        • HIV and AIDS
                        • Hepatitis C
                        • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS
                        • Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD
                        • Alzheimer's disease
                        • Severe arthritis
                        • Inflammatory bowel disease
                        • Crohn's disease
                        • Ulcerative colitis
                        • Multiple sclerosis
                        • Parkinson's disease
                        • Schizophrenia
                        • Other chronic or debilitating diseases

                        A bill was sponsored that included many more serious health conditions for treatment with CBD oil.

                        RELATED: The Truth About CBD Hemp Oil and How to Use It

                        These amendments would have brought the legal status of medical marijuana and CBD oil on par with a great number of other states in the U.S., but alas, it was not meant to be. According to a report in the U.S. News, one of the lead sponsors, Senator Steve Dickerson, withdrew because of fears that “passing the bill as amended would only forestall the full legalization of medical marijuana in Tennessee.” He refers to the aforementioned amendments regarding procurement and regulation.
                          "I fear that if we passed the watered-down version of this bill it would essentially forestall any efforts to have a much more widespread, much more thoughtful legislative construct for several years," Dickerson, a medical doctor himself, allegedly said. He furthermore promised to be back in 2019 “with a more permissive bill that would allow for the growing, processing, dispensing, regulation, and taxation of cannabis.” [3][4][5]
                            According to Times Free Press, the legislation is being called the “Tennessee Responsible Use of Medicinal Plants Act,” or TRUMP Act. This was partly in response to President Trump’s turnabout on medicinal marijuana policy, saying that he was likely to back a federal congressional effort to give states the ability to decide whether to legalize marijuana. [6]

                              So, a limited number of Tennesseans still have limited access to CBD oil. However, while the fine print and details of the state laws regarding CBD oil remain somewhat obscure, it seems that you will not be fined if you have a doctor’s note and a receipt from where you obtained the oil with you. This will probably depend on who is asking, though.

                              RELATED: How Safe Is Cannabidiol?

                              What Are the Objections to CBD Oil in Tennessee?

                              The greatest detractors of more permissive CBD laws cite “greater intoxication” among Tennesseans, and “there is not enough medical proof” as reasons for their resistance. Yet, the FDA has recently approved the first CBD-based medicine for intractable epilepsy, obviously with plenty of excellent research to back its decision. Also, cannabis and its healing properties have been a subject of scientific study for decades—simply use Google Scholar to find tens of thousands of studies. Even the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have investigated the long history and proof of cannabis’s efficacy in the treatment of several health conditions. [7]

                              Regarding the true nature of and use for CBD oil, Tennessee government and law enforcement seem to be generally ignorant and negatively biased.

                              Regarding the true nature of and use for CBD oil, Tennessee government and law enforcement seem to be generally ignorant and negatively biased. This is not an uncommon obstacle to more enlightened laws, but still not an excuse. The majority of Tennesseans support legal medical marijuana, according to a recent poll. If the people are knowledgeable, shouldn’t the government be even more so? Discovering how to get CBD oil in Tennessee need not be fraught with challenges, especially for those who need it most, so hopefully, the local government will adjust and follow world trends soon. [8]

                              Sources:

                              1. https://legiscan.com/TN/bill/HB1749/2017
                              2. https://www.safeaccessnow.org/tennessee_medical_marijuana_laws_and_regulations
                              3. https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2018/03/28/house-committee-approves-advances-medical-cannabis-legislation/465999002/
                              4. https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2018/03/21/house-sponsor-significantly-alters-medical-cannabis-legislation/445409002/
                              5. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/tennessee/articles/2018-04-03/tennessee-medical-marijuana-bill-dead-for-the-year
                              6. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/breakingnews/story/2018/jun/27/bill-named-after-trump/473924/
                              7. https://www.nap.edu/read/24625/chapter/6
                              8. www.wkrn.com/news/poll-77-percent-of-2018-voters-support-legal-medical-marijuana/1077201783

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