An Alabama Senate committee advanced a bill to legalize medical marijuana in the state on April 24, 2019. The bill, known as the CARE Act, would allow people with certain medical conditions to receive a medical marijuana card in order to use medical marijuana. The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill in a 6-2 vote, with three abstentions. The bill now heads to the full Senate for a vote.
If passed, the new law would establish an Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission tasked with drafting the rules and regulations necessary for licensing medical cannabis businesses, as well as determining the number of licenses to be issued, by January 1, 2021. The commission would be responsible for issuing licenses for dispensaries, cultivation centers, and processing facilities through an application process.
Local jurisdictions would be able to prohibit medical cannabis businesses within their borders with a two-thirds vote from the local governing body before July 31, 2020.
Additionally, the bill would extend Alabama’s current medical marijuana study, known as Carly’s Law, until January 1, 2021. Carly’s Law, passed in 2014, authorized a UAB study on using cannabidiol, or CBD oil, to treat seizure disorders. That law expires July 1, 2019.
A House version of the bill, House Bill 234, was also recently introduced but has not faced a committee vote yet. The state’s legislative session ends after June 18, 2019, so lawmakers have about six weeks to agree on one of the proposals and send it to the governor to be signed into law.
“We need to realize tobacco is four times more addictive than cannabis,” said Jerzy Szaflaski, a researcher who has worked on the state's UAB study of CBD oil. “Alcohol is two times more addictive than cannabis. They’re both legalized and regulated.”
Start a Medical Marijuana Business in Alabama
Interested in establishing a medical marijuana business in Alabama? Your first step will be preparing for the state’s business license applications. It’s never too early to begin preparing – starting now will increase your chances of success later.
To educate yourself more on what will be involved in the application process and start drafting your required business plans, download our Alabama Medical Marijuana Business Application Package, which includes:
- An Informational Overview of Alabama’s pending medical marijuana laws
- An Application Guide and Checklist which gives a detailed summary and checklist of all action items you’ll need to complete before submitting your application
- A Business Plan Template to help you start drafting the required plans and executive summary for your business
- A Financial Plan Template to give you and your investors a comprehensive 3-year projection of what you can possibly expect when selling marijuana