Medical marijuana bill in Tennessee falters

Efforts to legalize medical marijuana in Tennessee via its Legislature apparently have stalled for the year.

The legislation to legalize medical cannabis, HB 1968, was pulled by its sponsor because of lack of support, Nashville TV station WKRN reported.

The bill’s sponsor, Democratic state Rep. Bob Freeman, lamented that Tennessee is lagging behind other states in its region in legalizing medical marijuana.

States to the south of Tennessee – Alabama and Mississippi – legalized MMJ in the past year.

To the east of Tennessee, North Carolina lawmakers have been considering an MMJ measure. And, to the west, Arkansas and Missouri have growing MMJ programs.

As reported previously, efforts to legalize medical cannabis in Kentucky, north of Tennessee, also have gone nowhere.

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Both chambers of the Tennessee Legislature are dominated by Republicans, and the measure was a “nonstarter,” Freeman said, despite the revenue medical marijuana could generate for the state.

Tennessee was projected to bring in $130 million a year in tax revenue from a medical cannabis program once it reached maturity, according to a fiscal review of the bill.