Legal Standing of Cannabis for Tennessee

Tennessee Marijuana / Cannabis Medical Use Law: Illegal

  • The use of medical marijuana is illegal in Tennessee

Tennessee Recreational Marijuana / Cannabis Recreational Use Law: Illegal

  • The use of recreational marijuana is illegal in Tennessee

Marijuana in Tennessee

In Tennessee Marijuana is illegal for both recreational and medical purposes. However, in May 2015, Senate Bill 280 was signed, legalizing the possession and use of low-THC cannabidiol (CBD) oil by patients for treatment of a limited number of severe conditions, including epilepsy. Patients must have a recommendation from a doctor before they may use the oil legally.

Controlled Substances – As enacted in the bill, authorizes the use of cannabidiol oil with less than 0.9 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol to treat intractable seizures or epilepsy in certain circumstances. – Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 4 and Title 43, Chapter 26. SB0280 has been assigned Public Chapter Number 352 by the Secretary of State.

Tennessee Senate Bill 280

This bill allows a person to possess cannabis oil under certain circumstances.

Generally, under present law, a person may not possess marijuana. For purposes of the criminal drug laws, present law excludes from the definition of “marijuana” cannabis oil containing the substance cannabidiol with less than 0.9 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), when transferred, dispensed, possessed, or administered as part of a clinical research study on the treatment of intractable seizures supervised by a physician practicing at a hospital or associated clinic affiliated with a university having a college or school of medicine.

This bill redefines “marijuana” to exclude any cannabis oil containing cannabidiol with less than 0.9 percent THC, instead of only such oil used in a clinical research study described above. For the exclusion to apply:

  • The bottle containing the cannabis oil must be labeled by the manufacturer as containing cannabidiol in an amount less than 0.9 percent of THC;
  • The cannabis oil must have been obtained legally in the United States and outside of this state; and
  • The person must retain proof of the legal order or recommendation from the issuing state

It will be a Class C misdemeanor for a person to possess cannabis oil containing cannabidiol with less than 0.9 percent THC who does not meet the requirements of (1)-(3) above.

ON APRIL 13, 2015, THE SENATE ADOPTED AMENDMENT #1 AND PASSED SENATE BILL 280, AS AMENDED.

AMENDMENT #1 rewrites this bill and excludes from the definition of “marijuana” oil containing the substance cannabidiol, with less than 0.9 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol, if:

  • The bottle containing the oil is labeled by the manufacturer as containing cannabidiol in an amount less than 0.9 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol; and
  • The person in possession of the oil retains:
  • Proof of the legal order or recommendation from the issuing state; and
  • 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;

ON APRIL 13, 2015, THE HOUSE SUBSTITUTED SENATE BILL 280 FOR HOUSE BILL 197, ADOPTED AMENDMENT #2, AND PASSED SENATE BILL 280, AS AMENDED.

AMENDMENT #2 adds “epilepsy” to the diagnoses a person must have to be authorized to possess oil containing cannabinol.