NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — With Tennessee lawmakers set to discuss both medical and recreational marijuana in the coming months as the 113th General Assembly convenes, Tennessee sits poised to potentially become the latest state in the nation with some form of legalized marijuana usage.
In 2022, Mississippi became the latest state to authorize the use of medical marijuana. According to ProCon.org, patients in the Magnolia State are permitted to purchase up to 3.5 grams of cannabis per day, six days a week, for a total of about 3 ounces per month.
One year prior, Alabama opted to legalize medical marijuana up to 70 daily dosages, using the bill previously drafted by Tullahoma Sen. Janice Bowling. Bowling has previously carried the legislation for medical cannabis in Tennessee, though the measure has failed to make it out of committee multiple times.
South Dakota and Virginia both legalized medical cannabis in their states in 2020. South Dakota allows for up to 3 ounces of usable marijuana for certain medical conditions as well as up to 3 plants. Virginia residents can procure a 90-day supply of cannabis products from the 2020 law. In 2021, Virginia expanded its medical cannabis usage to include extracts and botanicals.
Missouri approved the use of medical marijuana through a ballot initiative. The measure allows up to 4 ounces of dried marijuana per 30-day period and 6 plants. In November 2022, Missouri, along with Maryland, approved the use of recreational marijuana.
Arkansas voters narrowly approved a statewide ballot measure allowing for medical marijuana use in the state in 2016. The measure passed with 53.2% of the vote and allows up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana per one 14-day period.
Voters and legislators in Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania also joined the medical marijuana train that year. Florida allows for a 35-day supply; Louisiana, a month; North Dakota, 3 ounces per 14-day period; Ohio, a 90-day supply; and Pennsylvania, a 30-day supply.
Prior to the legalization of recreational marijuana in Missouri in 2022, Illinois was the closest state to Tennessee where all use of marijuana was legal and regulated. The state opted for full recreational use of marijuana in 2013. People in the land of Lincoln may obtain 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis in a 14-day period. Since legalizing, the state has seen billions of dollars in extra tax revenue, including hundreds of millions of dollars from out-of-state purchasers.
If Tennessee once again fails to approve medical marijuana, it will remain with neighboring states Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina in keeping medical and recreational marijuana illegal. Currently, these states only allow for “low THC” products, like Delta 8, and CBD products, which do not contain any THC.