Medical Marijuana in Alabama
Alabama joined the medical marijuana industry in 2014, when their state legislature passed SB 174, also known as “Carly’s Law.” Under this law, to become a medical marijuana patient, an Alabama citizen was required to participate in a University of Alabama clinical trial. Unfortunately, this law had too many limits to its use as it only allowed patients to obtain legal CBD after a diagnosis of a “debilitating epileptic condition.”
2016 was a big year for Alabama’s further entrance into the medical cannabis field. HB 61, or “Leni’s Law” was enacted, which removed the University of Alabama program requirement set forth in SB 174, and further extended affirmative defense language to various conditions. Additionally, Alabama legislators approved SB 347 – The Alabama Industrial Hemp Research Act – which officially defined hemp as containing no more than 0.3% THC (by dry weight) and further integrated hemp into the state’s controlled substances law. By 2019, the state of Alabama began accepting hemp cultivation applications, paving a way for cultivators to begin producing their first legal hemp crops.
On May 17, 2021, Alabama Governor signed into law SB 46 after it was overwhelmingly approved by the Alabama legislature, making Alabama the 36th state with full access to medical cannabis! SB 46 further formed the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (“AMCC”) to create regulations and oversee the application process for Medical Marijuana Businesses.
In October 2022, the AMCC announced its creation of an application guide for each of the various license types interested applicants could apply for. Pursuant to Alabama law, each license type had a limited number of licenses that could be issued: (i) Integrated Facility – 5; (ii) Cultivator – 12; (iii) Processor – 4; and (iv) Dispensary – 4 (each allowed to have up to 3 dispensing locations. Further, the Secure Transporter and State Testing Laboratory licenses were limited per the discretion of the AMCC. Interested applicants had until December 30th, 2022 to submit their completed application through the online portal.
Currently, the AMCC has issued a stay on awarding the licenses initially provided in their June 12th meeting due to “mathematical inconsistencies” identified in the score reports. In their most recent meeting, the AMCC voted in favor of reissuing the licenses at their August 10th meeting after a third-party scorer, KMPG, reviewed their process to ensure it was fair and equitable.
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
Authorized Forms of Medicinal Marijuana in Alabama
Oral tablets or tinctures; Gelatinous cubes or lozenges; Gels, oils, creams or other topical forms; Transdermal patches; liquid or oils for inhalers; or Suppositories.
Applications for Medical Marijuana Business Licenses
Currently, the AMCC is not accepting applications for medical marijuana business licenses. The most recent application window closed on December 30th, 2022 at 5 PM (CT).
However, during the AMCC’s June 12th meeting, they announced that they will be holding a second round of applications for Cultivator, Secure Transporter, and State Testing Laboratory licenses.
Now is the time to work with a Team of experts who have in-depth experience of working in the Alabama medical marijuana program to ensure your spot in this soon-to-be booming market. If you are interested in acquiring an Alabama Medical Marijuana Business License, then schedule an appointment with us to discuss your options.
Last Updated: July 20th, 2023