Ten years ago, the thought of states legalizing marijuana seemed ludicrous enough. The plant has always been quite divisive, with most people being either for or against marijuana. However, what’s certain is that marijuana does have plenty of medicinal properties that make it a good natural alternative to a variety of medications including opioids.
The past few years have seen cannabis become more mainstream, with a number of states legalizing it for both recreational and medical use. Alabama quite recently joined the club after the state Senate voted to pass a bill to legalize marijuana in the state. The bill would allow qualifying patients to purchase certain medical marijuana products from state-licensed dispensaries.
It would also prohibit cannabis for smoking or vaping, with only tablets, topicals, and certain cannabis-infused edibles being legally available for sale.
“I think in this day and time, with the opioid crisis, we need to try alternative medicines that will help people,” says Sen. David Sessions, who voted to pass the bill. The proposal now heads to the House, and it’s sure to be a nail biter. Speaker McCutcheon has been non-committal, stating last month that he’s in ‘wait and see mode.’
Dubbed SB 165, the bill would establish a state Medical Cannabis Commission to register patients and oversee licensing businesses. Patients suffering from qualifying conditions such as anxiety, cancer, epilepsy, and post-traumatic stress disorder will be eligible for the program. They will be able to purchase up to a 70-day supply of medical marijuana products at a time.
The bill also sets a cap of 32 dispensaries allowed in the state, and the products they sell will be tested for potency and contaminants. Sales from the licensed dispensaries will be subject to a 9% tax, and part of those funds will be used to create a new Consortium for Medical Cannabis Research that will provide grants to study cannabis.
Under the proposal, medical marijuana will be tracked from seed to sale, and workers at the cannabis facilities will be subject to background checks.
“Today’s landslide vote in the Alabama Senate shows lawmakers in even the most conservative states in the nation are starting to recognize that allowing medical cannabis is good politics and good policy. Voters of every political background overwhelmingly support allowing medical cannabis,” says Karen O’Keefe, state policies director for the Marijuana Policy Project.
“That said, with polls showing upwards of 90% of Americans support allowing medical marijuana, it’s alarming that 27 states continue to criminalize patients for choosing a safer alternative to opioids.”
It remains to be seen what established companies like Champignon Brands Inc. (CSE: SHRM) think advocates should do to win support from the lawmakers in the House who aren’t in support of the legislation.
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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