Alabama Committee Approves Medical Cannabis Bill

Alabama’s Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that would vastly overhaul and improve the state’s limited medical cannabis program.

Full story after the jump.

Alabama’s Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-2 on Wednesday to approve a medical cannabis bill, moving the measure to the full Senate, WSFA-12 reports. Three committee members abstained on approving what would be a state constitutional amendment.

Currently, the state does permit the University of Alabama at Birmingham to research the use of CBD products under what is known as Carly’s Law; the proposed CARE Act would extend that law until 2021.

The measure would also establish the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, which would set up a patient registry and issue patient identification cards and operator licenses. The bill sets patient application fees at $65 with $65 annual renewal fees but does not lay out the fees for would-be cultivators, processors, transporters, manufacturers, packagers, or dispensaries. It also does not layout taxes for the industry.

Although it would be a constitutional amendment it does not require the two-thirds vote to enact the measure; it would, however, require a supermajority to change or overturn.

The bill includes 33 qualifying conditions, including addiction, autism, chronic pain, depression, Tourette’s, and several others included in medical programs throughout the U.S.

The bill must still pass both chambers and be approved by the governor.

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