Ron Cogswell

Medical Cannabis Bill Introduced In Alabama House

A medical cannabis proposal in Alabama seeks to improve access for patients with debilitating conditions and would establish the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission.

Full story after the jump.

A medical cannabis bill has been introduced in the Alabama House of Representatives by state Rep. Mike Ball (R-Huntsville).

HB 243 would extend Carly’s Law, which allowed a study at the University of Alabama Birmingham on using CBD-rich cannabis to treat children with intractable seizure disorders, for another two years, while clarifying a CBD-rich decriminalization bill known as Leni’s Law. The bill has twenty co-sponsors, including state Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) and Republican Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon.

Additionally, the bill would establish the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, which would be tasked with setting up a patient registry, issuing medical cannabis cards, and licensing the production, processing, and distribution of medical cannabis in Alabama. Patients would be required to be over nineteen and be suffering from one of a limited number of debilitating conditions to qualify for medical cannabis under the proposal.

“Carly’s law expires, and we need to extend that. There need to be clarifications on Leni’s Law. This is about helping sick people,” said state Rep. Mike Ball in an interview with AL.com. “The research is paying off. Some of the doctors want to do a medical card procedure. I’m doing one bill that will take care of that. We want to give doctors latitude on this.”

The study commissioned at UAB by Carly’s Law started dispensing cannabidiol oil to patients in 2015 and issued their findings in September 2018. The study which included 132 participants, 72 children, and 60 adults, found that CBD reduced the mean number of seizures from 144 every two weeks to 55 every two weeks — a “highly significant” reduction of two thirds, according to study authors.

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