Holds office Governor
Governor Lee in 2019 reaffirmed his opposition to reducing criminal penalties for marijuana-related activities, stating, "I have said before and still believe that we should not decriminalize marijuana... I think that's not good for our state." (Link)
He has failed to endorse legislative efforts to legalize medical cannabis access in Tennessee, instead stating that he prefers expanding the state’s CBD possession law. That law, enacted in 2014, only provides an affirmative defense from prosecution for patients with intractable seizures who obtain CBD extracts. (Link)
Governor Lee has expressed skepticism regarding the efficacy of medical cannabis, stating, "I just want to follow the data, and for me the data is not substantive enough to show that medical marijuana is the right approach right now." (10/28/18) (Link)
Nonetheless, he has said that he would “consider” signing medical marijuana access legislation if such a measure was approved by the legislature. (10/28/18) (Link)
"As he has said repeatedly in this campaign, Bill thinks we should first look to solutions like low-THC CBD oils to address these issues." Link
Asked about legalizing medical cannabis to relieve chronic pain and other ailments, Lee said he has "a great deal of concern" about it but noted "I think we have to do everything we can for those individuals I think we need to search everywhere we can."
Lee said he believes the "non-addictive" cannabidiol has yet to be fully explored and also added with regard to medical marijuana that "I just want to follow the data, and for me the data is not substantive enough to show that medical marijuana is the right approach right now."
But he didn't say that he would veto such a bill, noting if Tennesseans "brought that and the data proved it, I would consider signing that bill." Link
1st Floor, State Capitol 600 Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37243