Southeast and Midwest states in the U.S. are historically conservative, and they are opposed to the legalization of marijuana in any form, but in recent years, several states such as Florida and Louisiana have been adopting marijuana reform for legalizing medical marijuana. And Alabama is among the 17 states where medical marijuana is still illegal. But new legislation which was introduced last Tuesday in the state Senate by Senator Tim Melson is seeking to authorize medical marijuana.
The legislation SB 165, which would establish the Compassion Act, would allow the state of Alabama to legalize certain forms of medical cannabis, create cultivation programs, and administer and tax the sales of marijuana products. However, even if the bill is approved, people are not expected to smoke or vape weed legally within the state.
The bill was introduced last week following an intensive study by a commission composed of doctors, legislators, and lawyers. The study commission was chaired by Senator Melson.
The bill states that people with specific ailments or conditions such as anxiety, cancer, and other chronic conditions would be allowed to get a medical marijuana card. However, the legislation prohibits any form of marijuana smoking, vaping, or edibles within the state. The type of marijuana products patients’ are allowed to consume include pills, gelatinous cubes or lozenges, topicals ( creams or oils), suppositories, transdermal patches, nebulizers, and inhalers.
Patients who do not suffer from any of the conditions listed on the list of qualifying conditions within the state could appeal to the board for special considerations.
Once the legislation is approved, Alabama would be the 34th state to legalize medical marijuana in the U.S. while adult-use cannabis is legal in 11 states, including Washington D.C.
Alabama is not the only state in the U.S. joining the rest of the country; earlier this month, Kentucky advanced a bill seeking to legalize medical marijuana.
The Alabama legislation would enact stringent controls on the people cultivating and selling medical marijuana. They would employ the use of electronic trackers to keep tabs on the inventory as well as the card holders. Medical marijuana products would also be subjected to a sales tax of 9%, and some of the tax revenue would be used to fund the operation of the medical marijuana program within the state. The state would also create a unique account for the Medical Marijuana Research Fund.
If the bill is approved and the governor signs it, it would immediately become law. Experts believe that sector players like HTC Extraction Systems (TSX.V: HTC) (OTCQB: HTPRF) are hoping that the draft legislation sails through and gives people in Alabama an extra treatment option for their health challenges.
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