The first meeting of the state task force to review medical cannabis legalization is slated for Thursday, Sept. 21 in Nashville.
State lawmakers agreed to form the group after legislation to start a medical cannabis program in Tennessee failed in the legislature this year. Lawmakers hope the group get answers about such a program here and get citizen input on the matter before the beginning of the next legislative session in January.
Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and House Speaker Rep. Beth Harwell formally formed the group with a late-August letter.
In it, they directed the John Ad Hoc Committee on Medical Cannabis to “study, analyze, and undertake a comprehensive review regarding whether the legalization of medical cannabis for medicinal purposes is in the best interest of the state.”
The lawmakers who sponsored this year’s medical cannabis legislation — Sen. Steve Dickerson and Rep. Jeremy Faison — will co-chair the committee. Memphis Rep. Raumesh Akbari is the only West Tennessee and only African American member of the committee. The committee also includes “medical marijuana stakeholders.”
The group will meet from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Tennessee Tower. The meeting is to be the first of three such meetings that will bring a review of medical cannabis to Knoxville in October and Memphis in November.