Our Position on Cannabis Legislation in Alabama
We do actively support legalizing the growing of and medical use of the cannabis plant or cannabinoids with the following conditions:
Adult patients must have a cannabis certificate (like a prescription) from their medical doctors, and possession amounts are limited.
Doctors, in consultation with their patients, determine the illnesses, forms of, and situations when cannabis is the appropriate treatment; not the state.
Doctors must monitor patients and cannabis dosing, as medical professionals do with other medication prescriptions.
Patients are required to have a cannabis patient card.
A patient registry is established.
A licensing board is established to administer the patient registry, issue patient cards, and issue commercial licenses, such as vertical integration, cultivator, processor, testing lab, transporter, and dispensary licenses.
All businesses that meet the regulations and pay the license fee are granted a license.
An oversight commission is established to ensure licensed cannabis businesses are compliant with all regulations.
The oversight commission is comprised of a variety of stakeholders, including growers, distributors, law enforcement, patients, doctors, etc.
About our Position on Patients & Doctors
Research shows THC and cannabidiol have medical benefits for some symptoms and diseases. Already, the FDA has approved natural and synthetic forms for a few conditions. But research and many patients report it can improve health in many others.
The decision of what form, how much, or for what illness a patient consumes a cannabis product should be made by the doctor and the patient.
Since cannabis medical research is in its infancy and will likely progress quickly, limiting cannabis certificates to which illnesses the legislature dictates will impair health outcomes. The public should not have to lobby for the slow-to-act state legislature to grant permission to add an illness to the law.
Most legislators are not doctors. Politics and laws should not interfere with the medical judgment of the doctor and patient.
If a younger patient will benefit from medical cannabis, cannabis certificates from two doctors should be required, and the parent should be the purchaser.
A patient with a medical cannabis card (with a proper prescription) should be allowed to grow cannabis for medical use, but with a plant limit. The medical cannabis card protects the patient from being accused of unlawful use or possession, as long as the amount is within the legal limit.
Patients should be required to present their medical cannabis card and prescription when purchasing from a dispensary, and the dispensary should be required to verify the patient is on the registry before selling it.
A nonresident should be able to obtain a 30-day temporary medical cannabis card if they have a medical cannabis card from another state.
About our Position on Cannabis Businesses
Licensing cannabis businesses--as the Alabama Board of Pharmacy does for pharmacists--is a way to monitor cannabis businesses to make sure they are producing and selling for medical use.
A licensing board and an enforcement commission should be created for cultivators, testing labs, processors, and dispensaries. (They could be combined into one body).
No limit should be put on the number of licenses granted. Such limits could create a situation that encourages corruption, cronyism, and favoritism. The free market should determine whether a responsibly run cannabis business succeeds, just as happens with pharmacy businesses and farmers of other products.
By allowing the free market to determine how many businesses and farmers succeed, the state would be encouraging more economic growth, possibly giving more opportunities in economically distressed communities.
The oversight commission should receive product tracking records and be allowed to inspect other dispensary records.
Dispensaries should be at least 1,000 feet from public and private schools, and each dispensary location should be required to have a separate license.
Any business applying for a commercial cannabis business license must have the owner(s) be at least 25 years old and have at least 75% of the owners be Alabama residents.
The state should allow any form of cannabis products to be produced and sold for medical use to patients who have a medical cannabis card, a prescription, and are on the registry.
Packaging design should be mandated to not appeal to children. The oversight commission should be the body that enforces this.
Medical cannabis should have a sales tax.
About our Organization
Our story begins in 2019 when some parents told Alabama politicians they had to travel out of state for treatment (with a cannabis product) of their children's severe epilepsy due to Alabama's restrictive laws.
Chey Garrigan and others with cannabis business interests formed a professional membership 501(c)6 organization to be effective in advocacy and lobbying in the state of Alabama.