On Monday, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted 97-0 in favor of SB 2531, the Senate version of a bill approving a four-year study of the use of cannibidiol oil in treating intractable seizures.
The Senate passed the same bill on Thursday, 23-4. The legislation now awaits Gov. Bill Haslam's signature before the experimental program can be initiated.
Cannibidiol (CBD) oil is a derivative of marijuana that does not produce a euphoric effect and has shown promise in treating people, particularly children, with severe epilepsy. The CBD oil proposed for the study will contain less than one percent of tetrahydrocannibinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of marijuana.
The bill is a far cry from a more ambitious bill originally sought by Tennessee medical marijuana supporters for 2014, but addresses the most emotionally-charged issue that came up during the main effort - that of children suffering from types of pediatric epilepsy that are currently being treated with other drugs known to have potentially dangerous side effects.