Public hearing set for medical cannabis regulations in Alabama

Marijuana plant
Marijuana plant(Terri Russell)
Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 6:16 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The state is another step closer to having medical cannabis available for patients. The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission released a draft of regulations for the medical cannabis industry. And the next step is a public hearing for feedback that will be held Thursday, but not all the topics can be changed by the commission.

The commission is finally in the weeds of building the new state agency.

“Licenses for cultivation, processing, integrated license for the whole deal, transportation, dispensaries,” said John McMillan, the director of the commission.

These topics and more are all outlined in 10 documents, published on the commission’s website where they’re also accepting feedback.

“It’s lengthy,” said McMillan. “It’s really complex.”

And people like Melissa Mullins, a medical cannabis lobbyist, have already started to dig into these documents.

“I skimmed over them,” she said. “But I’ve also made some notes of what to highlight.”

Mullins and her organization, Alabamians 4 Medical Cannabis Freedom & Disability Rights, have six changes they’d like to see to the cannabis law,

  • A more realistic plan for Small businesses/Farmers
  • Nurses should be allowed to access the medical cannabis registry
  • No dosage caps
  • Reinstate the option that allows physicians to petition the Commission
  • Reinstate the reciprocity clause
  • Decriminalization & Expungement

However, not all of them can be addressed by the commission. Such as dosage caps, which are a legislative issue.

“Seventy-five milligrams for a cancer patient is nothing,” said Mullins. “So now my cancer patient can’t go to her can’t go to their treatments.”

Mullins says the commission should expand to include patients, for a more accurate representation as they continue to grow.

“They’re advocating for the industry,” she said. “They’re not advocating for the patient, the actual patient that is suffering and dying every single day.”

She says her feedback is constructive. She and McMillian recognize how crucial the continued movement is for patients across the state.

“The next step is going to be finalizing the rules and regulations,” said McMillan. “And then getting those applications in and processed and awarding the licenses.”

McMillian also says the hearing is not a time for debate on cannabis, only the regulations so they can stay on track to have prescriptions written by next fall.

The hearing will be this at 1 p.m. in room 200 of the statehouse.

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