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Alabama is set to become the 37th state to legalize medical cannabis

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Riding the wave of cannabis legalization that has swept the US in recent years, Alabama is poised to become the 37th state to implement a comprehensive medical cannabis program. Although the law is still under review, it is expected to be passed on the basis of strong support from both parties for the relaxation of cannabis restrictions in connection with the landslide victory of the law in the state legislature (68-34 and 20-9 respectively).

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Summary of Alabama’s Compassionate Care Act

Clearly, the bill will likely pass. However, let’s take a closer look at some of the key points of Alabama’s medical cannabis proposal.

Qualification for the program

In order to legally use and access cannabis medicines, patients must apply for and receive a medical cannabis card that is granted for one or more of the following conditions: autism; cancer-related pain, nausea, or weight loss; Crohns; Epilepsy; HIV / AIDS-related nausea; persistent nausea that, with exceptions, did not respond significantly to other treatments; PTSD; Sickle cell anemia; Panic disorder; Tourette; Parkinson’s Disease; Spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, motor neuron disease, or a spinal cord injury; incurable disease; or a condition causing persistent or chronic pain “where conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy are contraindicated or proven ineffective.” The Senate-approved version also includes anxiety, menopause, premenstrual syndrome and fibromyalgia. The version passed by the House contains depression.

Legal protection

Qualified patients, nurses and medical cannabis facilities and their staff are not subject to any criminal or civil sanction for actions approved by the bill. Patients could have up to 70 daily doses of cannabis (this is vague and I couldn’t find any specific weight restrictions. Also, no indication of whether they were smokable flowers or infused products. Patients could have organ transplants or other medical-based health care) Cannabis in general cannot be denied.

Role and regulation of doctors

To certify patients, physicians must be authorized by the State Board of Medical Examiners. You must meet the qualifications set by the board. The House version also requires doctors to pay a fee of up to $ 300 to certify patients. Certifying physicians must complete a four-hour medical cannabis medical education course and pass an exam. The courses can cost up to $ 500. A two-hour refresher is required every two years. The board develops rules for certifications, including patient-doctor relationship requirements, detailed requirements for informed consent, and how long a certification can be valid for which may not exceed a year. Doctors must specify the daily dosage and type. This would likely require participating doctors to violate federal law. If this is not overhauled, it would likely affect participation dramatically.

Limitations and Penalties

The commission also sets the maximum daily dose of THC that can be recommended for each qualifying condition. In most cases it should not exceed 50 milligrams. Raw plants, smoking, vaporizing, sweets and baked goods are not permitted. Pills, gelatin cubes, lozenges, oils, suppositories, nebulizers and patches are available. Employers could continue to conduct drug tests and prohibit employees from using cannabis. Patients cannot take on duties while under the influence of cannabis, which would be negligent in prisons and schools. Health insurance would not have to reimburse medical cannabis costs. Cannabis might not be possessed in a vehicle unless it is in its original packaging, sealed, and reasonably inaccessible while driving.

Click here for the full text of the invoice.

Final Thoughts – Alabama Medical Cannabis

Again, this bill has not yet been incorporated into law, and medical cannabis is not yet legal in Alabama. The governor continues to review all details and is expected to pass. So we will definitely update them as soon as they are signed. Subscribe to more articles like this one and access to exclusive offers on flowers and other products The weekly CBD Flowers newsletter.

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Beth Edmonds