Alabama: Senate Advances Medical Cannabis Access Measure

Senate lawmakers approved legislation yesterday that seeks to regulate patients’ access to select medical cannabis products.

Senators voted 22 to 11 in favor of SB 165, which licenses dispensaries to provide qualified patients with non-herbal cannabis preparations, such as marijuana-infused tablets or pills.

The bill now awaits consideration by members of the House.

Last year, members of Senate similarly approved medical cannabis access legislation, but that effort was opposed by the House. Ultimately, lawmakers agreed upon appointing a study commission to make recommendations on the issue. In December, the commission called for lawmakers to enact a limited legalization program.

In January, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall wrote a letter to state lawmakers urging them to reject the commission’s recommendations, opining that medicalization is “preempted” federal anti-drug laws and “exacerbate” opioid misuse.

Under state law, personal marijuana possession is punishable by up to one-year in jail, while sales of cannabis are classified as felonies punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment.

More information regarding SB 165 is available from Alabama NORML here or via their Facebook page.