Republican Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama signed a bill on Monday that legalizes the medicinal use of cannabis in the state.
The measure, Senate Bill 46, was passed by the Alabama House of Representatives earlier this month after being approved by the state Senate in February. The Alabama medical marijuana legalization measure goes into effect immediately, although providers will have to be licensed by the state before legal medicinal cannabis sales begin. “This is certainly a sensitive and emotional issue and something that is continually being studied,” Ivey said in a statement about the legislation. “On the state level, we have had a study group that has looked closely at this issue, and I am interested in the potential good medical cannabis can have for those with chronic illnesses or what it can do to improve the quality of life of those in their final days.”
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In addition to sanctioning medical weed, the law calls for the creation of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, a state agency that will oversee the industry. The drug can be prescribed to qualifying patients suffering from a range of illnesses including cancer and epilepsy. Meanwhile, growers of the drug will be regulated by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. Alabama’s law won’t instantly create a market for the drug. Rules and procedures need to be established, in addition to licensing frameworks for entities involved in the marijuana business. Accordingly, the law stipulates that the cannabis commission must set these and start allowing applicants to file for licenses by Sept. 1, 2022.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: JURIST.ORG