History was made back in early May when Governor Bill Haslam signed legislation allowing Tennessee residents to secure a small amount of cannabis oil for medical purposes.
While the measure falls well short of those in place in states like Colorado and California, where medical marijuana is readily available to treat numerous conditions, it nevertheless signifies something of a fundamental shift here in the Volunteer State. That's essentially because it provides people in possession of the aforementioned cannabis oil with a legal defense.
What exactly are the restrictions on possession of cannabis oil?
The law expressly states that the cannabis oil in a person's possession must have less than 0.9 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that makes it desirable as a recreational drug.
What about purchasing the cannabis oil?
The law requires that a person in possession of cannabis oil must have either a recommendation or legal order for it. What this amounts to, say experts, is a person being able to produce a receipt showing the cannabis oil was purchased in another state where medical marijuana is legal, or a valid registration card from another jurisdiction.
What role do physicians play in this?
The law dictates that cannabis oil can only be secured by those people -- or their dependents -- diagnosed by a licensed physician with either epilepsy or intractable seizures.
Have many people been securing cannabis oil after Gov. Haslam signed the bill?
Advocacy groups indicate that the number of people securing cannabis oil has been relatively small thanks to what they are calling inaction on the part of both the Tennessee Medical Association and the Tennessee Department of Health.
Specifically, they indicate that neither organization has been providing interested parties with the necessary information or guidance, such that people are too afraid to move forward with the process of securing the oil despite otherwise qualifying.
It remains to be seen whether the desired guidance is forthcoming and whether more people prove willing to take the plunge as far as cannabis oil is concerned.
Remember, if you or a loved one are facing any sort of drug charges -- possession, manufacture, distribution -- consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.