Updated June 17, 2019:
Governor Kay Ivey signed Senate Bill 236 into law to create a medical marijuana commission that will make recommendations to the Alabama Legislature next year on how to implement a medical cannabis program. The measure was a compromise after an original medical marijuana proposal hit opposition in the state House of Representatives.
The original bill would have created a comprehensive medical marijuana program in the state by allowing patients who suffer from certain qualifying medical conditions to use medical marijuana if they had a recommendation from two physicians and other treatments failed to work.
The new law also establishes a 15-member Medical Cannabis Study Commission that would develop regulations and propose model legislation for a comprehensive medical marijuana program to the state legislature by December 1, 2019. The members of the commission will include doctors and other appointees from the governor, state lawmakers, and the Alabama attorney general.
The amended, passed bill also protects and extends an ongoing University of Alabama (UAB) study of cannabidiol (CBD) oil known as Carly’s Law until July 1, 2020. The study protects a small percentage of patients suffering from a debilitating epileptic condition for the use of CBD obtained by the University of Alabama.
Although the state couldn’t legalize a medical marijuana program just yet, the passing of this bill is certainly a great step in the right direction and helps lay the groundwork for medical legalization in 2020.
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