Ron Cogswell

Alabama MMJ Bill Likely Dead Without House Support

Alabama lawmakers appear unlikely to advance a bill expanding the state’s limited medical cannabis options; instead, they may establish a commission for studying the effects and efficacy of cannabis medicine.

Full story after the jump.

Alabama House Speaker Mac McCutcheon expects state lawmakers to create a commission to study medical cannabis instead of legalizing its use, according to an AL.com report. The bill was approved by the Senate 17-6 earlier this month but has met strong opposition in the House.

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 but the proposed CARE Act would extend that law until 2021. The measure would have established the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, which would set up a patient registry and issue patient identification cards and operator licenses.

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.

Despite the Senate support of the measure, McCutcheon told AL.com that medical cannabis is in “the educational phase” in the state.

“Members are studying. We’re listening to the opponents and proponents on it. We’re gathering information. And that’s one reason that this study commission idea, I think, is going to be very significant.” – McCutcheon to AL.com

The House Health Committee is holding a public hearing on the issue today as the legislature heads into what is likely its final session week.

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