Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission adopts updated guidelines

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 6:06 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The process from seed to sale is moving along for the state’s medical cannabis commission. Following last month’s meeting, the commission says they are on track for the next steps of the process because they approved their rules and regulations.

“These rules will interact with license, with applications, with patients, caregivers,” said commission member Will Webster.

Four amendments to the rules were discussed during Thursday’s meeting.

“We’ve actually made some pretty significant changes to the rules and regulations because of the comments we got from the public,” said John McMillan, director of the commission.

The changes include:

  1. To the definition of a cannabis batch.
  2. Decrease the number of required security guards at dispensaries from two guards 24/7 to one guard required during business hours, outside of that is up to the business.
  3. Dispensary doors will no longer have to be 3-inches thick, only sturdy enough to not be easily knocked down.
  4. Dispensaries will no longer have to be standalone buildings.

“We believe our timeline is accurate, we can stay on that,” said McMillan.

The timeline is set, but more changes are possible as the commission continues its work, and suggestions have already been planted.

Antonie Mordican is the state director for Minorities for Medical Marijuana. He suggests changing guidelines to allow for better access for people of color to the industry.

“They need to create a pathway to delegate minorities into the industry because that’s the current problem that Florida is dealing with,” said Mordican. “Alabama needs to be proactive so that they don’t have the same problems.”

Some changes can only be made by lawmakers.

Dr. Steven Stokes is a member of the commission and prescribes his patient’s medical cannabis. He practices in Florida.

“A lot of the cancer patients prefer gummies,” said Stokes. “They like the edibles because it’s easier for them. Alabama legislation does not allow that.”

Currently, the legislation allows for:

  • Tablets
  • Capsules
  • Tinctures
  • Gels, oils and creams for topical use
  • Suppositories
  • Transdermal patches
  • Nebulizers
  • Liquids or oils for use in an inhaler

McMillan adds that this meeting will keep the commission on track for license applications from seed to sale process to open on September 1st…

The medical requirements to be prescribed medical cannabis did not change. Those conditions include:

  • Autism
  • Cancer-related weight loss or chronic pain
  • Crohn’s
  • Depression, epilepsy or condition causing seizures
  • HIV/AIDS-related nausea or weight loss
  • Panic disorder
  • Parkinson’s
  • Persistent nausea not related to pregnancy
  • PTSD
  • Sickle Cell
  • Spasticity associated with diseases including ALS, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injuries
  • Terminal illnesses
  • Tourette’s
  • Chronic pain for which conventional therapies and opiates should not be used or are ineffective

More information on applications can be found on the commission’s website.

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