Update (3/2/18) on Tennessee SB 2258 & HB 1832

UPDATE: 3/2/18

Speaker Beth Harwell has added her name to HB 1832 and has sent the following email out to folks who have asked her to amend to bill and strike all language related to banning kratom. It looks as though she is our #1 ally right now. Also worth noting that she is running for Governor, and clearly deserves our support on that front as well!

Email from Speaker Beth Harwell

In an interesting twist, SB 2258 has been sent to the Senate Ways and Means committee and will be heard on 3/6, likely because it has a fiscal cost associated if passed. This may just be procedure, and it’s a good one for us as it buys us more time to continue to educate and put pressure on the House committee to amend the bill and send it back to the Senate for confirmation.

Continue to contact House committee members here.

UPDATE: 2/28/18

The Senate Judiciary had a hearing on SB 2258 last night and rejected a proposed amendment to make it 18+. It passed out of committee unamended 6 AYE, 3 Abstentions.
The House Criminal Justice Committee was supposed to hear the companion bill HB 1832 today, but I spoke with a committee staffer this afternoon who informed me that they pushed the hearing back and it will be up for a hearing next week. This is the second week in a row this committee has rolled the bill. 

If we can’t amend the House Bill, and it moves out of committee, I would put the likelihood of it passing it upwards of 90%.

Please take a moment to email the Governor and committee members if you haven’t already.

If you have, THANK YOU! Please share the link with friends and family in Tennessee. We need to keep the pressure on the House Committee to amend the bill before it passes out and onto the floor!

Lastly, if you are a resident with a compelling story and are willing to speak with the press about your relationship with Kratom, please email us directly at chapactnet@gmail.com.

Thank you!  

The Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee has decided to postpone passing SB 2258 out of committee for a week due to conflicting testimony on several subjects related to Kratom.

Most notably, Senator Green, who helped us request the Attorney General’s clarifying opinion, did an AMAZING job testifying before the committee and rebutting the recent claims made by the FDA and the 44 deaths “associated with Kratom.”

While this hearing was by no means a win, it certainly showed that science, facts, and political momentum are currently on our side. We would be smart to utilize these things over the next few weeks while the legislature figures out how important Kratom really is to so many Tennessee residents.

The companion bill, HB 1832, has a hearing TODAY in the House Criminal Justice Committee at 12pm CST. We’re not sure if this bill will also be held up, but we should be contacting these committee members regardless and asking them to amend the bill.

You can also watching the hearing live here.

Huge thanks to all of the advocates who showed up for SB 2258’s hearing yesterday! We’ll have more details regarding next steps, new targets, and legislative timelines and procedures soon.

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