A few weeks ago, a new set of standards for the legalization of medicinal marijuana in the state of Alabama was approved by the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC). On Thursday, August 11, the commission gave its approval to a proposal that would start the process of licensing companies in the state’s newly emerging medical marijuana industry.
After many months of consideration and feedback from public members, the lengthy collection of rules, which had a total page count of 171, was approved by a voice vote. Because the panel had just one day to consider the new laws, Dr. Jerzy Szaflarski, a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, chose not to vote on the matter.
In the run-up to the vote, the assistant director of the Commission, Daniel Autrey, referred to the guidelines as a “changing text.” The following is a list of some of the adjustments that will be made to Alabama’s medicinal marijuana statute in 2021:
- A Definition of a Cannabis Production
- It’s possible that dispensaries may employ fewer people to work in security.
- The entry to the clinic must be sufficiently sturdy to prevent the door from being easily pried open.
- It is not required for dispensaries to have their own standalone building.
The commission was tasked with “finding a balance between the need, as described in the act, for security and then also the need to develop a product for the people of Alabama that is not so costly that they can’t afford it,” according to attorney and rule-writer Will Webster, who spoke at the conference. Mr. Webster was one of the presenters.
On September 1, anybody interested in cultivating cannabis or processing, testing, transporting, or selling anything linked to cannabis can submit an application for a license.
The AMCC has announced that the time for accepting applications will begin on October 31 and continue until December 30. The commission has said that applicants will have the option to update their applications or correct any defects they may find up to specific dates in the early part of the following year..
The Cannabis Plan
In accordance with the plan, it is possible that licenses will be granted as early as June of 2023. It is projected that medicinal cannabis products developed in Alabama will become available to the general public somewhere between the end of the year 2023 and the beginning of the year 2024.
It will be necessary to produce the cannabis in pots or on raised beds inside secured facilities in order to reduce the risk of theft; nevertheless, doing any of these things might significantly increase production costs: According to a few different estimates, the price of integrated facilities might reach as high as $20 million.
The commission will make available up to 12 cultivation licenses, 4 processing licenses, and 4 distribution permits total. In addition, the state will grant 5 licenses to “integrated institutions” that provide all three services and transportation. These institutions must meet all of the requirements. No restrictions will be placed on the availability of licenses to distribute and analyze medical cannabis.
The following types of businesses are eligible for licensing under Alabama’s medicinal marijuana law:
- Cultivator: Organizations that have been granted cultivation permits by the Department of Agriculture and Industries and the Commission.
- Processor: A business with a valid license from the commission that is permitted to buy cannabis from a producer, then use that cannabis to create one or more medical cannabis products, which the business may then sell to patients and transport to dispensaries for distribution.
- Dispensary: A business with a valid license from the commission that is allowed to sell medicinal marijuana to patients and their caregivers.
- Integrated Facility License: Authorized by the commission to act as a grower, processor, transporter, and retailer, all under one roof.
- Secure Transporter: Organizations that have been granted licenses by the commission to move cannabis or medical pot from one location to another.
- State Testing Laboratory: An organization recognized by the commission to conduct tests on cannabis and medical cannabis to guarantee the product’s compliance with the Compassionate Use Act’s safety standards.
However, there will be significant competition for these licenses since only a limited quantity is available.
Under the umbrella of a single integrated facility license, establishing as many as 5 dispensaries in different counties is permissible. In the event that more sites are required, the commission has the authority to authorize them.
In the state of Alabama, certified doctors will be able to prescribe medical marijuana for patients suffering from the following conditions:
- Cancer-related weight loss or chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Depression, epilepsy, or any condition causing seizures
- HIV/AIDS-related nausea or weight loss
- Panic disorder
- Parkinson’s disease
- Persistent nausea not related to pregnancy
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Spasticity associated with diseases including ALS, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injuries
- Terminal illnesses
- Chronic pain for which conventional therapies and opiates should not be used or are ineffective
How Medical Pot Can Be Produced
In places where the creation of such products is permitted, medical cannabis may be produced in the form of tablets, gel cubes, capsules, or tinctures. A wide variety of topical treatment options are available, including oils, gels, and lotions. Other types of external devices that are permitted include suppositories, nebulizers, transdermal patches, and liquids or oils that may be used in an inhaler.
It is not allowed to bring in raw plant material, sweets such as candies and cookies, flammable or vaporizable items, or anything similar.
Keeping You Updated On The Latest Cannabis News
Stay here, and we will keep you updated on the most recent changes to the medical cannabis law in Alabama and the other states that have authorized the use of cannabis for either medicinal or recreational purposes.