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There are currently no medical or recreational dispensaries in Alabama open for business.
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Updated AL Marijuana Guide
Regulated Cannabis Program overview
Type of program: Medical Only
Alabama Medical Marijuana
According to the National Conference for State Legislatures, the state of Alabama is the 37th state to legalize the sale and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
The recently formed Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission met formally for the first time in August 2021. The Commission is run by a director and assistant director and a 14-members board. Board members are appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor, legislative leaders, and others. Appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.
Appointees must include professionals with backgrounds in medicine, agriculture, and pharmacy. Public officials, candidates for public office, public employees, and lobbyists are not eligible. Commission members may not have a financial interest in the medical marijuana industry.
The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission is responsible for issuing licenses to cultivators, processors, transporters, testing facilities, and dispensaries. The commission has been directed by law to officially design and instigate guidelines for licensed companies enabling them to sell products by Sept. 1, 2022. The commission has also been tasked with setting up a registry of patients and their designated caregivers who can legally purchase cannabis products.
“Integrated facility” licenses are available for companies that perform all of these functions. Additionally, all crops of medical cannabis must be grown exclusively in the state of Alabama. The growers would need to obtain their licensing by April 2022, since the planting season for cannabis usually commences in April and May.
The Commission recently revised the bill to allow nine marijuana cultivator licenses. The nine designated licensees must be farmers as well as residents of Alabama for at least fifteen years.
The organization is also responsible for the licensing of dispensaries and processors. They have now issued four processor licenses, four dispensary licenses, and five integrated facility licenses. Each licensee may operate multiple facilities.
All cannabis products must be tested for cannabinoid content and potency, as well as for contaminants such as pesticides and mycotoxins.
The Alabama Medical Cannabis Patient Registry keeps records of information such as doctor certifications, patient registrations, lab testing, and amounts of products sold to patients at dispensaries.
Medical marijuana patients pay a 9 percent tax on cannabis products. Additionally, licensed businesses must pay an annual medical cannabis privilege tax. Tax revenue is used to cover the cost of regulating the program and for medical marijuana research.
Alabama medical marijuana dispensaries
Medical cannabis products may only be purchased at state-licensed dispensaries. The commission may issue dispensary licenses to four companies. Each may operate three dispensaries in separate counties. The commission can license more dispensaries based on demand.
Dispensaries may only operate in cities and counties whose governing bodies have approved them.
Medical marijuana products available in Alabama
Purchase and possession limits
- Patients can purchase up to 60 daily doses at one time and may possess up to 70 doses.
- Daily dosages are capped at 50 milligrams of THC. Doctors may raise the limit to 75 milligrams for patients after 90 days.
- Patients with terminal illnesses may purchase more than 75 milligrams but must surrender their driver’s license.
- Minors may not use products with more than 3 percent THC content.
AL Marijuana Deliveries RX
Patients 19 years of age or older diagnosed with one of the qualifying medical conditions are eligible for an Alabama medical marijuana card.
For patients under the age of 19, medical marijuana products must be purchased and administered by a parent or registered caregiver. Products sold for use by minors may not exceed 3 percent THC.
How to get an Alabama medical marijuana card
In order to be approved for an Alabama medical marijuana card, patients must be examined by a state-certified medical marijuana doctor and be diagnosed with one of the qualifying medical conditions.
Alabama medical marijuana doctors
State-certified medical marijuana doctors may not write prescriptions for cannabis because medical cannabis is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. However, they are permitted to issue recommendations to certify patients for medical cannabis cards.
Doctors that wish to become certified by the state to recommend medical marijuana must complete a four-hour training course and pass an examination. They must also take refresher courses every two years.
The Alabama Board of Medical Examiners could adopt additional rules on qualifications.
Qualifying medical conditions for an Alabama medical marijuana card
In order to qualify for an Alabama medical marijuana card patients must be diagnosed with one of the following medical conditions:
- cancer-related weight loss, or chronic pain
- epilepsy or condition causing seizures
- HIV/AIDS-related nausea or weight loss
- panic disorder
- persistent nausea not related to pregnancy
- sickle cell
- spasticity associated with diseases including ALS and multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injuries
- terminal illnesses
- chronic pain for which conventional therapies and opiates should not be used or are ineffective
The legislation says medical marijuana should not be the first option, but should be used “only after documentation indicates that conventional medical treatment or therapy has failed unless current medical treatment indicates that use of medical cannabis is the standard of care.”
All individuals wishing to obtain a doctor evaluation for a medical marijuana card recommendation may now do so from the comfort of their homes via a telemedicine appointment using their computer, tablet, or smartphone to conduct the appointment.
Video: How to get a medical card in AL using telemedicine.
At this point, the fees are not firmly established. A medical marijuana card fee may be as high as $300. Alabama medical marijuana cards are valid for a period of 12 months and must be renewed prior to expiration.
Alabama medical marijuana patients may designate a caregiver to purchase and administer their medicine. Caregivers must be 21 or older and be registered with the state.
Alabama Patient Privacy
National Hippa laws dictate that all medical marijuana patient’s info is private. Access to patient information in the registry would be restricted to doctors, dispensaries, and pharmacists only. Law enforcement agencies may also access the registry for criminal investigations.
Alabama Marijuana Laws
Marijuana-related DUI laws in Alabama
Driving under the influence of marijuana in the state of Alabama could result in the same harsh penalties as alcohol-related offenses.
Alabama medical marijuana and guns
Marijuana, medical or otherwise is still categorized as an illegal Schedule I Controlled Substance on a federal level. This law makes it illegal for anyone in the state of Alabama to purchase guns or ammunition if they also consume any marijuana products.
Public consumption laws
Public consumption of marijuana, medical or otherwise is strictly prohibited in the state of Alabama. There are no provisions for social consumption venues
Public consumption of marijuana, medical or otherwise is strictly prohibited in the state of Alabama. There are no provisions for social consumption venues.
Employers may refuse to hire a medical marijuana patient. They may also implement drug tests and fire employees for using medical cannabis.
Alabama hemp and CBD laws
The state of Alabama allows the sale, possession, and consumption of all hemp-derived CBD products. These CBD products can be purchased online or at local shops in the state.
Home cultivation: prohibited
The cultivation of cannabis is prohibited outside of licensed facilities. Patients are not permitted to grow their own marijuana in Alabama.
Alabama medical marijuana cards are only valid at licensed dispensaries within the state of Alabama.