Stuart Seeger

Alabama’s Limited Medical Cannabis Program Rolling Out June 1

Alabama’s cannabidiol medical marijuana program will roll out on June 1, decriminalizing possession of CBD oils commonly used to treat epilepsy, according to a report from The Cannabist. The law allows the oil to be imported from other states, rather than produced in Alabama.

The measure, nicknamed Leni’s Law, allows for oils to contain up to 3 percent THC and follows a 2014 law allowing CBD oil to be studied by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Gov. Robert Bentley, who is also a physician, said the law provides patients with chronic and debilitating diseases “every possible option for treatment.”

“With Leni’s Law, citizens in Alabama will have access to cannabidiol that may help with treatment. Through a study at UAB, we have seen the benefit of cannabidiol to help with chronic seizures,” Bentley, said. “I hope we will be able to collect information that will determine the efficacy of this substance in other chronic debilitating diseases.”

Bentley’s Republican colleague Rep. Mike Ball sponsored the 2014 bill after meeting with families struggling with epilepsy and other medical conditions.

Leni’s Law draws its name from Leni Young, a 4-year-old who was diagnosed with an epilepsy condition and cerebral palsy shortly after birth. Young had hundreds of daily seizures and her medication rotted her teeth and made her lethargic. Her family moved to Oregon in order to utilize CBD therapies after she was denied access to participate in the UAB trials.

About 50 percent of the patients in the UAB study of pharmacy-grade CBD oil Epidox found “sustained improvement in seizure control” and two are seizure-free, according to the UAB report released in March. Epidox contains just .2 percent THC.

“She’s progressed further than we were ever told was a possibility for her,” Amy Young, Leni’s mother, said. “I can’t wait to watch our friends’ children progress.”

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