State Rep. Jason Powell has filed House Joint Resolution 742 to propose an amendment to the Constitution of Tennessee relative to medical cannabis. The constitutional amendment if passed will allow Tennesseans to use medical cannabis legally for approved medical conditions including cancer, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. The state will give oversight of the medical cannabis program that will include the in-state cultivation, processing and sale of cannabis. HJR 742 will establish a four percent tax on the retail sale of medical cannabis with a portion specifically directed to assist military veterans’ health care.
“Tennesseans should have access to a comprehensive medical cannabis program in our state,” said Rep. Powell. “No Tennessean suffering from an approved medical condition should have to drive hours out of state to purchase medical cannabis. Furthermore, Tennesseans should be able to legally grow and sell medical cannabis here in Tennessee. I firmly believe an amendment to the Tennessee Constitution is the best path for legalizing medical cannabis in Tennessee. Voters should have the opportunity to decide this issue, and I simply ask my legislative colleagues to give Tennesseans the choice to vote on a medical cannabis program.”
Powell sponsored House Joint Resolution 730 in the 110th General Assembly that said states should retain primacy in determining the legalization and regulation of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products within their respective jurisdictions and encourage the United States Congress to enact a statute prohibiting the federal government from interfering with the implementation of states’ medical cannabis laws. HJR 730 reached the House Floor in 2018 but was ultimately defeated with legislative tactics defeating his resolution before all members had to vote. Powell voted for recent medical marijuana legislation in Tennessee but was a vocal critic that the legislation did not go far enough to help Tennesseans in need.