State Rep. Jeremy Faison and Sen. Steve Dickerson will propose bills to allow medical marijuana use in Tennessee.
According to an announcement from the House Republican Caucus on Friday, the official announcement will come next week.
Medical marijuana has been a popular discussion within the legislature in recent years, and support from both parties has been steadily growing.
In 2015, the legislature passed another Republican-led initiative to allow the cultivation of industrial hemp to produce cannabinoid oil (CBD oil) that proponents say allows alternative treatment options for seizures, pain and other medical conditions.
Since then, many inudstrial hemp farms have been created across the state.
A similar bill to allow limited use of medical marijuana died in 2015. There was barely any discussion on the measure during the 2016 session.
A November poll by Vanderbilt University indicates a growing acceptance among Tennesseans for less restrictions on the use of marijuana. The poll shows that 75% of those polled indicated they responded that marijuana should be legal for personal use (33%) or legal for only medicinal use (42%).
The results of the same poll in 2015 indicated 26% of respondents said marijuana should be legal for personal use, showing a growing level of acceptance among Tennesseans..
Faison has been conducting research into the use of marijuana in recent months. Sources in the legislature say he’s passionate about the legislation and how medical marijuana might be used in Tennessee, specifically among military veterans who might be battling post-traumatic stress disorder or other conditions related to their service.
Earlier this year, Faison went to Colorado to research Colorado’s legislation and outright legalization. He documented the trip on Facebook, and interviewed people about their use of marijuana to treat medical conditions.
In September, Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville, told The Leaf-Chronicle during an election debate that he research about the use of medical marijuana should continue. Green and Dickerson are both doctors, and have previously suggested medical marijuana could be helpful to veterans, specifically.
Reach Jake Lowary at @JakeLowary.or on Twitter at
This story will be updated.