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Law Alabama

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Alabama Could Legalize Medical Marijuana Under Bill Filed By Republican Senator


A Republican senator in Alabama has once again filed a bill to legalize medical marijuana, and advocates think 2021 might be the year that the state finally moves to allow patients to access cannabis.

Sen. Tim Melson (R) introduced the legislation, which would allow people with qualifying conditions to access cannabis for therapeutic purposes. He’s the same lawmaker who sponsored a similar bill that was approved by the Senate last year but which later died without a House vote amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the new proposal, an 11-member Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission would be established to implement regulations and oversee licensing.

To qualify for the program, patients would have to be diagnosed with one of about 20 conditions, including anxiety, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and intractable pain. Regulators would not be able to independently add additional conditions, leaving that decision up to lawmakers.

One problematic provision from advocates’ perspective is that, for patients with chronic or intractable pain, they could only be recommended medical marijuana in cases where “conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or has proved ineffective.”

Patients would be allowed to purchase and possess up to “70 daily dosages of medical cannabis.” The commission would determine what that limit is, but it could not exceed 75 milligrams per dose.

The bill, which has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, prohibits raw cannabis, smoking, vaping and candy or baked good products. Patients would instead be allowed to purchase capsules, lozenges, oils, suppositories and topical patches.

It also calls for a nine percent gross proceeds tax on medical marijuana sales. After covering implementation costs, 60 percent of revenue would go to the state’s general fund and 30 percent would go to research into the medical potential of cannabis.

Patients, caregivers and and medical cannabis businesses would receive legal protections under the proposal, preventing them from being penalized for activities authorized by the state.

For physicians to be able to recommend cannabis to patients, they would have to complete a four-hour continuing education course and pass an exam. The course would cost upwards of $500 and doctors would also be required to take refresher classes every two years.

“While it’s encouraging to see Alabama seriously considering medical cannabis legislation, we recommend a number of revisions to SB 46 to better serve patients,” Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Marijuana Moment.

“For example, patients should not be steered to far more dangerous opiates first, as the bill currently does,” she said. “In addition, the burden on doctors should be reduced to avoid dramatically depressing participation and leaving large numbers of patients behind.”

Under the bill, regulators would be tasked with developing restrictions on advertising and setting quality control standards. Seed-to-sale tracking and laboratory testing would be mandated.

Applications for cannabis business licenses would have to be accepted starting September 1, 2022 and then proceeded within 60 days.

The commission would be required to approve at least four cultivators, up to four processors, up to four dispensaries for the first year of implementation (more could be approved after that point depending on demand) and as many as five vertically integrated operators.

Many of the provisions are consistent with what the Senate approved in March 2020. But given the splurge of amendments that were introduced as it moved through that chamber in the last session, more revisions could be proposed as the bill advances this year.

This bill’s reintroduction has been a long time coming. The Senate approved a separate medical cannabis bill in 2019, but the House later severely compromised it. The legislation as enacted would not have legalized patient access; rather, it set up a study commission to explore the issue and make recommendations.

The commission came back with its report in December 2019, with members recommending that medical marijuana be legalized.

The Senate’s president voted against medical cannabis in 2020 but said he is open to letting the issue advance again in the new session. Meanwhile, the House speaker said that “if the bill comes up and it has proper restrictions in it, then I’m open to at least debating it.”

There could be additional pressure on the legislature to enact legalization given that voters in neighboring Mississippi approved a medical cannabis reform initiative during the November election.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in other traditionally conservative states—such as Kentucky and South Carolina—are positioned to potentially advance medical cannabis this year as a number of other states consider broader recreational marijuana legalization.

Read the new Alabama medical marijuana legalization bill by following title link and scrolling to the bottom of the article.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Alabama Senate Committee Approves Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill


A key Alabama Senate committee on Wednesday approved a bill to legalize medical marijuana, sending it to the full floor for consideration.

The legislation, introduced last week by Sen. Tim Melson (R), would allow people with qualifying conditions to access cannabis for therapeutic purposes. It cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee 8-3 after a very brief discussion and now heads to the full chamber.

Melson is the same lawmaker who sponsored a similar bill that was approved by the full Senate last year but which later died without a House vote amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This latest proposal would establish an 11-member Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission to implement regulations and oversee licensing.

To qualify for the program, patients would have to be diagnosed with one of about 20 conditions, including anxiety, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and intractable pain. Regulators would not be able to independently add additional conditions, leaving that decision up to lawmakers.


#JUSTIN The medical marijuana bill passed the committee 8-3. Now heads to the Senate floor.
— Lydia Nusbaum (@LydiaNusbaum) February 3, 2021


Advocates say they’re encouraged that medical cannabis reform is advancing in Alabama, but they’ve raised concerns about a number of aspects of the bill.

One problematic provision, they say, is that patients with chronic or intractable pain could only be recommended medical marijuana in cases where “conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or has proved ineffective.”

The bill also prohibits raw cannabis, smoking, vaping and candy or baked good products. Patients would instead be allowed to purchase capsules, lozenges, oils, suppositories and topical patches.

“It’s encouraging to see lawmakers making progress towards legalizing medical marijuana in Alabama,” Karen O’Keefe, state policies director for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Marijuana Moment. “It is morally wrong to continue to treat Alabamans who suffer from serious medical conditions as criminals for using a substance that is now legal in 36 states. However, we urge lawmakers to revise the provisions of the bill that create significant barriers for patients and their physicians.”

Patients would be allowed to purchase and possess up to “70 daily dosages of medical cannabis.” The commission would determine what that limit is, but it could not exceed 75 milligrams per dose.

It also calls for a nine percent gross proceeds tax on medical marijuana sales. After covering implementation costs, 60 percent of revenue would go to the state’s general fund and 30 percent would go to research into the medical potential of cannabis.

Patients, caregivers and and medical cannabis businesses would receive legal protections under the proposal, preventing them from being penalized for activities authorized by the state.

For physicians to be able to recommend cannabis to patients, they would have to complete a four-hour continuing education course and pass an exam. The course would cost upwards of $500 and doctors would also be required to take refresher classes every two years.

Under the bill, regulators would be tasked with developing restrictions on advertising and setting quality control standards. Seed-to-sale tracking and laboratory testing would be mandated.

Applications for cannabis business licenses would have to be accepted starting September 1, 2022 and then proceeded within 60 days.

The commission would be required to approve at least four cultivators, up to four processors, up to four dispensaries for the first year of implementation (more could be approved after that point depending on demand) and as many as five vertically integrated operators.

Many of the provisions are consistent with what the Senate approved in March 2020. But given the splurge of amendments that were introduced as it moved through that chamber in the last session, more revisions could be proposed as the bill advances this year.

This bill’s reintroduction has been greatly anticipated by advocates. The Senate approved a separate medical cannabis bill in 2019, but the House later severely compromised it. The legislation as enacted would not have legalized patient access; rather, it set up a study commission to explore the issue and make recommendations.

The commission came back with its report in December 2019, with members recommending that medical marijuana be legalized.

The Senate’s president voted against medical cannabis in 2020 but said he is open to letting the issue advance again in the new session. Meanwhile, the House speaker said that “if the bill comes up and it has proper restrictions in it, then I’m open to at least debating it.”

There could be additional pressure on the legislature to enact legalization given that voters in neighboring Mississippi approved a medical cannabis reform initiative during the November election.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Alabama House Committee Approves Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill Already Passed The Senate


A Senate-passed bill to legalize medical marijuana in Alabama cleared a key House committee on Wednesday, but not before members also approved a number of amendments to the proposal.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Tim Melson (R), would allow people with qualifying conditions to access cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The Senate approved the proposal last month, and now the House Judiciary Committee has advanced it in voice vote.

The measure will now head to the House Health Committee before moving to the floor.

Melson is the same lawmaker who sponsored a similar bill that was approved by the full Senate last year but which later died without a House vote amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This latest proposal would establish an Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission to implement regulations and oversee licensing.

To qualify for the program, patients would have to be diagnosed with one of about 20 conditions, including anxiety, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and intractable pain. Regulators would not be able to independently add additional conditions, leaving that decision up to lawmakers.

The Judiciary Committee approved 10 amendments on Wednesday. Here’s what they would do:

-Require regulators to hold a local public hearing before issuing a marijuana business license.

-Eliminate reciprocity for out-of-state patients, meaning those approved for medical cannabis outside of Alabama would not have their recommendations accepted in the state.

-Allow a state health officer to appoint one member to the cannabis regulatory commission.

-Reduce the percentage of marijuana tax revenue that would go to cannabis research from 30 to 15 percent.

-Require a review of the state’s contract for a seed-to-sale tracking company every five years.

-Allow all licensed physicians and pharmacists to have access to the seed-to-sale tracking and patient databases.

-Let municipalities hold votes to opt out of allowing marijuana businesses in their areas. Counties could make the same determination for unincorporated regions.

-Clarify the definition of who constitutes a cannabis caregiver with respect to age and relationship to the patient.

-Clarify that the bill’s “intent” is to create a medical marijuana program and should not be interpreted as an opening for recreational legalization.

-Add transparency requirements for cannabis business applicants.

Advocates say they’re encouraged that medical cannabis reform is advancing in Alabama, but they’ve raised concerns about a number of aspects of the bill.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Alabama Medical Marijuana Bill Moves Closer To Floor Vote With House Committee Action


An Alabama House committee on Wednesday amended a medical marijuana legalization bill that already passed the Senate. Members also took public testimony in advance of an expected Thursday vote to send the revised legislation to the House floor.

This hearing of the House Health Committee comes one week after a separate panel in the body amended and cleared the bill.

Sponsored by Sen. Tim Melson (R), the legislation would allow people with qualifying conditions to access cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The full Senate approved the bill last month.

“I just want to take [cannabis] to the patients that need it. I want to see people get relief,” the senator said at the meeting. He also made the case that allowing legal access can mitigate opioid overdose deaths.

Melson is the same lawmaker who sponsored similar legislation that was approved by the full Senate last year but which later died without any House votes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This latest proposal would establish an Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission to implement regulations and oversee licensing.

To qualify for the program, patients would have to be diagnosed with one of about 20 conditions, including anxiety, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and intractable pain. Regulators would not be able to independently add additional conditions, leaving that decision up to lawmakers.

The House Judiciary Committee approved 10 amendments to the legislation during last week’s hearing. For example, members agreed to scrap provisions providing reciprocity for out-of-state patients and reducing the percentage of marijuana tax revenue that would go to cannabis research from 30 to 15 percent.

Those amendments were integrated into a new substitute version of the bill adopted by the Health panel, with additional revisions such as removing anxiety and adding depression and Parkinson’s disease as qualifying conditions for medical cannabis. The committee voted to accept the substitute version for consideration before going into testimony.

Time was evenly divided between supporters and opponents. By and large, the conversation revolved around personal anecdotes about the medical benefits and risks of marijuana.

More amendments were added following the testimony. One change would add an annual registration fee for physicians who recommend cannabis. Another would give the state attorney general’s office access to a patient registry database.

Members further approved an amendment to remove fibromyalgia and menopause from the list of qualifying conditions and another to expand the number of institutions that are eligible for grants to research marijuana. A revision to develop a uniform flavor for all cannabis products was also accepted.

Additionally, an amendment was approved to require dispensaries to have 24-hour security cameras operating in their facilities. These changes are all being added to a new substitute that the panel will take up and vote on Thursday.

Because the proposal has been amended, it would go back to the Senate for final consideration if it’s passed in the House before being sent to the governor’s desk.

Advocates say they’re encouraged that medical cannabis reform is advancing in Alabama, but they’ve raised concerns about a number of aspects of the bill.

One problematic provision, advocates say, is that patients with chronic or intractable pain could only be recommended medical marijuana in cases where “conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or has proved ineffective.”

The bill also prohibits raw cannabis, smoking, vaping and candy or baked good products. Patients would instead be allowed to purchase capsules, lozenges, oils, suppositories and topical patches.

Patients would be allowed to purchase and possess up to “70 daily dosages of medical cannabis.” Under an amendment approved on the Senate floor, the maximum daily dose was reduced from 75 to 50 milligrams. However, the amendment’s sponsor said it could be increased to 75 milligrams in some circumstances.

The revision also calls for a label on marijuana products to indicate that cannabis can cause drowsiness.

It also calls for a nine percent gross proceeds tax on medical marijuana sales.

Patients, caregivers and and medical cannabis businesses would receive legal protections under the proposal, preventing them from being penalized for activities authorized by the state.

For physicians to be able to recommend cannabis to patients, they would have to complete a four-hour continuing education course and pass an exam. The course would cost upwards of $500 and doctors would also be required to take refresher classes every two years.

Under the bill, regulators would be tasked with developing restrictions on advertising and setting quality control standards. Seed-to-sale tracking and laboratory testing would be mandated.

Other changes approved in the Senate would add language to stipulate that gelatinous cannabis products cannot be sugar coated and insert provisions promoting good manufacturing practices and tamper-evident packaging.

Applications for cannabis business licenses would have to be accepted starting September 1, 2022 and then proceeded within 60 days.

The commission would be required to approve at least four cultivators, up to four processors, up to four dispensaries for the first year of implementation (more could be approved after that point depending on demand) and as many as five vertically integrated operators.

This bill’s reintroduction has been greatly anticipated by advocates. The Senate approved a separate medical cannabis bill in 2019, but the House later severely compromised it. The legislation as enacted would not have legalized patient access; rather, it set up a study commission to explore the issue and make recommendations.

The commission came back with its report in December 2019, with members recommending that medical marijuana be legalized.

There could be additional pressure on the legislature to enact legalization given that voters in neighboring Mississippi approved a medical cannabis reform initiative during the November election.

Separately, the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill last month to decriminalize possession of up to two ounces of cannabis, making it punishable by a $250 fine without the threat of jail time.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Alabama Medical Marijuana Bill Gets Filibustered On House Floor


A medical marijuana bill that has already passed the Alabama Senate was filibustered on the House floor on Tuesday.

After previously clearing two House committees last month, the measure came to the floor for consideration—but a small number of opponents drew out the process by making a series of speeches and asking questions until the end of the day’s session at midnight approached.

Supporters believe the legislation could be brought up again on Thursday. If it does clear the House it will have to go back to the Senate again so the originating body can consider changes that have recently been made.

Sponsored by Sen. Tim Melson (R), the bill would allow people with qualifying conditions to access cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The full Senate approved the legislation in March.

Melson is the same lawmaker who sponsored similar legislation that was approved by the full Senate last year but which later died without any House votes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This latest proposal, SB 46, would establish an Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission to implement regulations and oversee licensing.

To qualify for the program, patients would have to be diagnosed with one of about 20 conditions, including anxiety, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and intractable pain. Regulators would not be able to independently add additional conditions, leaving that decision up to lawmakers.

The House Judiciary Committee approved 10 amendments to the legislation during last month’s hearing. For example, members agreed to scrap provisions providing reciprocity for out-of-state patients and reducing the percentage of marijuana tax revenue that would go to cannabis research from 30 to 15 percent.

Later, in the Health Committee, members approved a change that would add an annual registration fee for physicians who recommend cannabis. Another would give the state attorney general’s office access to a patient registry database.

That panel further accepted an amendment to remove fibromyalgia and menopause from the list of qualifying conditions and another to expand the number of institutions that are eligible for grants to research marijuana. A revision to develop a uniform flavor for all cannabis products was also attached.

Additionally, an amendment was approved to require dispensaries to have 24-hour security cameras operating in their facilities.

Advocates say they’re encouraged that medical cannabis reform is advancing in Alabama, but they’ve raised concerns about a number of aspects of the bill.

One problematic provision, advocates say, is that patients with chronic or intractable pain could only be recommended medical marijuana in cases where “conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or has proved ineffective.”

The bill also prohibits raw cannabis, smoking, vaping and candy or baked good products. Patients would instead be allowed to purchase capsules, lozenges, oils, suppositories and topical patches.

Patients would be allowed to purchase and possess up to “70 daily dosages of medical cannabis.” Under an amendment approved on the Senate floor, the maximum daily dose was reduced from 75 to 50 milligrams. However, the amendment’s sponsor said it could be increased to 75 milligrams in some circumstances.

The revision also calls for a label on marijuana products to indicate that cannabis can cause drowsiness.

It also calls for a nine percent gross proceeds tax on medical marijuana sales.

Patients, caregivers and and medical cannabis businesses would receive legal protections under the proposal, preventing them from being penalized for activities authorized by the state.

For physicians to be able to recommend cannabis to patients, they would have to complete a four-hour continuing education course and pass an exam. The course would cost upwards of $500 and doctors would also be required to take refresher classes every two years.

Under the bill, regulators would be tasked with developing restrictions on advertising and setting quality control standards. Seed-to-sale tracking and laboratory testing would be mandated.

Other changes approved earlier in the Senate would add language to stipulate that gelatinous cannabis products cannot be sugar coated and insert provisions promoting good manufacturing practices and tamper-evident packaging.

Applications for cannabis business licenses would have to be accepted starting September 1, 2022 and then proceeded within 60 days.

The commission would be required to approve at least four cultivators, up to four processors, up to four dispensaries for the first year of implementation (more could be approved after that point depending on demand) and as many as five vertically integrated operators.

This bill’s reintroduction had been greatly anticipated by advocates. The Senate approved a separate medical cannabis bill in 2019, but the House later severely compromised it. The legislation as enacted would not have legalized patient access; rather, it set up a study commission to explore the issue and make recommendations.

The commission came back with its report in December 2019, with members recommending that medical marijuana be legalized.

There has been additional pressure on the legislature to enact legalization given that voters in neighboring Mississippi approved a medical cannabis reform initiative during the November election.

Separately, the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill in March to decriminalize possession of up to two ounces of cannabis, making it punishable by a $250 fine without the threat of jail time. But the measure later failed a procedural motion on the Senate floor.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Alabama Medical Marijuana Bill Heads To Governor’s Desk Following Legislature’s Approval


A bill to legalize medical marijuana in Alabama is headed to the governor’s desk following its passage by the legislature.

After clearing two House committees last month, the measure passed the full chamber by a vote of 68-34 on Thursday. The Senate, which had previously approved an earlier version of the legislation in March, then signed off on the other body’s changes in a 20-9 vote.

The win came after opponents staged a lengthy filibuster on the House floor earlier this week, drawing out the process by making a series of speeches and asking questions until the end of the day’s session at midnight approached. Those stalling tactics did not continue on Thursday, however.

Sponsored by Sen. Tim Melson (R), the bill would allow people with qualifying conditions to access cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

To qualify for the program, patients would have to be diagnosed with one of about 20 conditions, including anxiety, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and intractable pain. Regulators would not be able to independently add additional conditions, leaving that decision up to lawmakers in future sessions.

Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has not said whether she will sign or veto the bill.

Prior to its vote on final passage on Thursday, the House considered several floor amendments.

The body rejected proposals to place a limit of 10 milligrams of THC per dose for medical cannabis products, to remove depression as a qualifying condition and to enact a zero tolerance policy for drivers with THC in their systems. Another amendment that would have repealed the state program if marijuana is federally rescheduled, so that people would get medical cannabis from pharmacies instead of dispensaries, was also defeated.

Lawmakers did accept an amendment changing local control provisions from opt out to make it so that cities and counties would have to opt in to allowing medical cannabis businesses. They also made a change to name the bill after the deceased son of a lawmaker who previously sponsored medical marijuana legislation.

Melson is the same lawmaker who sponsored similar legislation that was approved by the full Senate last year but which later died without any House votes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This latest proposal, SB 46, would establish an Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission to implement regulations and oversee licensing.

The House Judiciary Committee approved 10 amendments to the legislation during a hearing last month. For example, members agreed to scrap provisions providing reciprocity for out-of-state patients and reducing the percentage of marijuana tax revenue that would go to cannabis research from 30 to 15 percent.

Later, in the Health Committee, members approved a change that would add an annual registration fee for physicians who recommend cannabis. Another would give the state attorney general’s office access to a patient registry database.

That panel further accepted an amendment to remove fibromyalgia and menopause from the list of qualifying conditions and another to expand the number of institutions that are eligible for grants to research marijuana. A revision to develop a uniform flavor for all cannabis products was also attached.

Additionally, an amendment was approved to require dispensaries to have 24-hour security cameras operating in their facilities.

Advocates say they’re encouraged that medical cannabis reform is advancing in Alabama, but they’ve raised concerns about a number of aspects of the bill.

One problematic provision, advocates say, is that patients with chronic or intractable pain could only be recommended medical marijuana in cases where “conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or has proved ineffective.”

The bill also prohibits raw cannabis, smoking, vaping and candy or baked good products. Patients would instead be allowed to purchase capsules, lozenges, oils, suppositories and topical patches.

Patients would be allowed to purchase and possess up to “70 daily dosages of medical cannabis.” Under an amendment approved on the Senate floor, the maximum daily dose was reduced from 75 to 50 milligrams. However, the amendment’s sponsor said it could be increased to 75 milligrams in some circumstances.

The revision also calls for a label on marijuana products to indicate that cannabis can cause drowsiness.

It also calls for a nine percent gross proceeds tax on medical marijuana sales.

Patients, caregivers and and medical cannabis businesses would receive legal protections under the proposal, preventing them from being penalized for activities authorized by the state.

For physicians to be able to recommend cannabis to patients, they would have to complete a four-hour continuing education course and pass an exam. The course would cost upwards of $500 and doctors would also be required to take refresher classes every two years.

Under the bill, regulators would be tasked with developing restrictions on advertising and setting quality control standards. Seed-to-sale tracking and laboratory testing would be mandated.

Other changes approved earlier in the Senate would add language to stipulate that gelatinous cannabis products cannot be sugar coated and insert provisions promoting good manufacturing practices and tamper-evident packaging.

Applications for cannabis business licenses would have to be accepted starting September 1, 2022 and then proceeded within 60 days.

The commission would be required to approve at least four cultivators, up to four processors, up to four dispensaries for the first year of implementation (more could be approved after that point depending on demand) and as many as five vertically integrated operators.

This bill’s reintroduction had been greatly anticipated by advocates. The Senate approved a separate medical cannabis bill in 2019, but the House later severely compromised it. The legislation as enacted would not have legalized patient access; rather, it set up a study commission to explore the issue and make recommendations.

The commission came back with its report in December 2019, with members recommending that medical marijuana be legalized.

There has been additional pressure on the legislature to enact legalization given that voters in neighboring Mississippi approved a medical cannabis reform initiative during the November election.

Separately, the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill in March to decriminalize possession of up to two ounces of cannabis, making it punishable by a $250 fine without the threat of jail time. But the measure later failed a procedural motion on the Senate floor.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"Oral tablets and tinctures, topicals, transdermal patches, gummy cubes, lozenges, liquids for inhalers, and suppositories are specifically allowed. Herbal or smokable forms of cannabis and edibles such as baked goods and candies are not legalized by the new law."

Another Potemkin Village of a MMJ law and I find it very hard to applaud this BS.

Alabama Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill, SB 46, Signed By Governor Kay Ivey


Republican Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama signed a bill on Monday that legalizes the medicinal use of cannabis in the state. The measure, Senate Bill 46, was passed by the Alabama House of Representatives earlier this month after being approved by the state Senate in February. The Alabama medical marijuana legalization measure goes into effect immediately, although providers will have to be licensed by the state before legal medicinal cannabis sales begin.
“This is certainly a sensitive and emotional issue and something that is continually being studied,” Ivey said in a statement about the legislation. “On the state level, we have had a study group that has looked closely at this issue, and I am interested in the potential good medical cannabis can have for those with chronic illnesses or what it can do to improve the quality of life of those in their final days.”
Under the newly signed Alabama medical marijuana bill, doctors are now permitted to recommend cannabis for their patients with one of about a dozen serious medical conditions including seizures; spasticity associated with certain diseases or spinal cord injuries; anxiety or panic disorder; and terminal illnesses. Qualifying patients with a physician’s recommendation will receive a medical marijuana identification card from the state. The new law permits registered patients to possess up to “70 daily dosages” of medical cannabis at one time, with each dose a maximum of 50 milligrams.

The Alabama medical marijuana measure also establishes a state Medical Cannabis Commission, which would be responsible for issuing licenses for the cultivation, processing, distribution, transportation, lab testing, and dispensing of medical marijuana. The commission will also maintain a seed-to-sale tracking system to monitor the production, distribution, and sale of regulated cannabis products as they travel from cultivator to patient.
The medicinal cannabis products permitted by the measure are tightly regulated. Oral tablets and tinctures, topicals, transdermal patches, gummy cubes, lozenges, liquids for inhalers, and suppositories are specifically allowed. Herbal or smokable forms of cannabis and edibles such as baked goods and candies are not legalized by the new law.

Cannabis Advocates React To New Alabama Medical Marijuana Law

“This measure is an important first step for Alabamans. As written, this program is limited in its ability to sufficiently address the real-world needs of patients — many of whom receive maximum benefit from inhaling cannabis flower rather than oral formulations, which are often far slower acting and more variable in their effects,” Carly Wolf, the state policies manager for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said in a statement.
“Furthermore, we reject the notion that cannabis should be a treatment of ‘last resort.’ That said, this law begins the process of providing Alabamans, for the first time, with a safe, legal, and consistent source of medicine,” Wolf continued. “In the coming months and years, we anticipate and hope that lawmakers will continue to expand this access in a manner that puts patients’ interest first.”

The Darren Wesley “Ato” Hall Compassion Act, as SB46 is also known, was introduced in the Alabama Senate by Sen. Tim Melson, a Republican who is also a medical researcher and anesthesiologist. He believes that existing evidence supports giving the residents of Alabama the right to choose to use medical marijuana, especially when more traditional treatments have not been effective.

“I was skeptical five years ago,” Melson said. “I started listening to patients instead of the biased people, and this is where we’re at today.”
Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement that the passage of SB 46 is “a major step forward for Alabamians.”
“Rather than being subjected to arrest and criminal penalties for using medical cannabis, this new law will enable patients who are suffering from illnesses and medical conditions to safely use and access medical cannabis, a treatment option that is accessible to so many of their fellow Americans,” said O’Keefe. “We applaud the legislature for passing and Gov. Ivey for signing the Compassion Act.”
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"Oral tablets and tinctures, topicals, transdermal patches, gummy cubes, lozenges, liquids for inhalers, and suppositories are specifically allowed. Herbal or smokable forms of cannabis and edibles such as baked goods and candies are not legalized by the new law."

So, I can stuff it up my ass but I can't vape, smoke, or really even get flower. FFS

Applying for a License to Dispense Medical Cannabis in Alabama

Alabama became the 36th state to allow cannabis for medical use when Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law the Darren Wesley ‘Ato’ Hall Compassion Act on May 17, 2021. The act establishes a process through which applicants will compete for a limited number of licenses in the following categories: (1) cultivator; (2) processor; (3) dispensary; and (4) “integrated facility” (which can cultivate, process, transport, and dispense medical cannabis under one license), as well as a to-be-determined number of licenses for secure transporters and testing laboratories. A 14-member Medical Cannabis Commission licenses and regulates the medical cannabis program, with input from the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries on cultivation matters. The act requires that the Commission and the department adopt regulations that allow license applications by September 1, 2022.
This article provides an overview of the requirements for obtaining a dispensary license, and is part of a series of similar overviews for the other five license categories.

What is a dispensary license?

A dispensary license authorizes the licensee to: (1) purchase and transfer cannabis from a processor, integrated facility, or cultivator, if the cultivator contracted with a processor to process its cannabis on the cultivator’s behalf; and (2) dispense and sell medical cannabis to a registered qualified patient or registered caregiver.

How many dispensary licenses will be issued?

The act authorizes the Commission to issue four dispensary licenses. At least one license must be awarded to a business entity that is 51%+ owned by individuals of “African American, Native American, Asian, or Hispanic descent,” and “managed and controlled” by such individuals “in its daily operations.” Each dispensary licensee may operate up to three dispensing sites, each of which must be in a different county from any other dispensing site and is subject to other restrictions.

What are the requirements for obtaining a dispensary license?

Applicants for a dispensary license must pay a non-refundable application fee of $2,500. Each “owner, shareholder, director, [and] board member” of an applicant, along with each “individual with an economic interest in an applicant,” must submit to a “state and national criminal background check.” If any “owner, director, board member, or individual with a controlling interest” has been “convicted of or released from incarceration for [any] felony” or “convicted of a controlled substance-related felony” within the last 10 years, the applicant is ineligible for a license.
The act requires that applicants include a bevy of information in their applications, including:
  • The identity of all individuals with “direct or indirect ownership interests” in the applicant.
  • The identity of entities that are involved in the cannabis industry and related to the applicant or individuals with an ownership interest in the applicant.
  • A complete criminal history of the applicant’s owners, directors, board members, and controlling shareholders.
  • The applicant’s anticipated or actual number of employees.
  • “Financial information” in the “manner and form” required by the Commission.
  • Records indicating “that a majority of ownership is attributable to an individual or individuals with proof of [Alabama] residence … for a continuous period of no less than 15 years preceding the application date.”
Under the act, licensees must maintain at least $2 million in “liability and casualty insurance” coverage, and the Commission may promulgate regulations that “establish minimum levels of other financial guarantees” that licensees must maintain. If an applicant fails to demonstrate its ability to meet these requirements, it cannot receive a license.
The act lists numerous criteria the Commission may use to evaluate license applications, including:
  • The applicant’s “ability to capitalize and conduct operations as proposed in its business plan, including business experience in related fields.”
  • Several other criteria aimed at the applicant’s financial backing and business acumen.
  • Any history of non-compliance with any regulatory requirements.
  • That the applicant’s “proposed location of all proposed medical cannabis facilities” are “suitable for all activities” and “not inconsistent with applicable zoning.”
  • The applicant’s “ability to serve an identifiable geographic area.”

Before issuing a license, the Commission must open a 30-day period during which anyone can submit “written comments regarding the applicant,” and the Commission is required to consider all comments received. If an applicant is denied a license, it can request that the Commission “provide a public investigative hearing at which the applicant is given the opportunity to present testimony and evidence to establish its suitability for a license.” The Commission must provide such a hearing upon request.
Each applicant (for all license types) must certify in its application that it “does not have an economic interest in any other [Alabama medical cannabis] license.” Licenses and ownership interests in licensed entities cannot be transferred absent approval by the Commission.

How competitive is the licensing process?

Alabama is not the first state to adopt a “limited license” regime for state-legal cannabis, and the experiences of predecessor states (including neighboring Florida) show the fight for licenses will be extremely competitive. Some of the most well-established cannabis operators in the country (and the world) will be applying for a small number of Alabama licenses. Further, the evaluation criteria for license applicants is largely subjective, and the evaluation process ensures that obtaining a license will be a question, in part, of influence.
 

CarolKing

Always in search of the perfect vaporizer
I would think over time they will include flowers especially if they get new folks in legislature and as governor. The people of the state probably are complaining about it already. They can drive to another state and buy flowers or continue to buy illegally. Folks aren’t going to stop smoking and vaping cannabis

Edibles in my state are too expensive for a medical patient. $25 for 100 mg THC doesn’t get a medical patient very far. They would need way more than that per day. I will be curious how expensive they end up costing?
 
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