The long-worked-for Alabama SB46 is now law, setting a path for an estimated 250,000 Alabama patients to legally benefit from taking medical cannabis and for farmers and entrepreneurs to legally benefit economically from providing it.
“This is a historic day for our state,” said Chey Garrigan, executive director of the Alabama Cannabis Industry Association. “But now the real work begins.”
Alabama Senator Tim Melson, the sponsor, said he expects the first patient will be able to purchase medical cannabis around 18 months from now. To get to that point, growers in the state must grow the plant, processors and dispensaries must be established, and physicians must attend classes and get licenses particularly for medical cannabis. And all of this must be monitored by a commission, which must also set up regulations. Yet, the regulations don’t exist because that commission doesn’t yet exist.
“Our task right now is to work with state officials in selecting knowledgeable experts to serve on the commission,” said Garrigan. “We have the network and knowledge of how this should be done so that it’s fair and the goals are reached responsibly. Having the right people on the commission and the right regulations will ensure success.”
The Alabama Cannabis Industry Association is planning how-to sessions for farmers or anyone who intends to get into the medical cannabis industry business. Announcements for these will be coming soon on the ACIA website and social media.
“I’d like to thank Governor Kay Ivey for signing the bill,” said Garrigan. “But I especially want to thank Sen. Tim Melson from Florence and Rep. Mike Ball from Madison for nursing this bill and advocating for it for years. Their determination and tireless effort will end suffering for many law-abiding Alabama residents.”