Medical Marijuana is now Legal in Alabama

Alabama's Republican Governor has signed medical cannabis into law in the state.

Alabama has officially become the 38th U.S. state to legalize medical marijuana after the state Governor Kay Ivey signed legalization bill Senate Bill (SB) 46 into law.

Business license applications for medical marijuana businesses will commence by September 1st, 2022.

"The victory in Alabama shows elected officials nationwide are finally getting the message that allowing medical cannabis has overwhelming, bipartisan public support," Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement Monday.

While the passage of medical marijuana from a Republican Governor is rarer than among Democrat Governors, the bill received widespread support from over 450 physicians, in addition to the majority of Americans favoring some form of cannabis legalization. As such, Governor Ivey's passage of the bill can be considered to be a reflection of the views of her constituency.

This is ostensibly true of Alabamans more specifically as revealed in an Alabama Life online poll of nearly 24,000 Alabaman citizens, 97% of which said they support medical marijuana legalization in the state.

Bill SB 46 has been considered relatively restrictive, allowing only four dispensary and processing licenses, and up to five vertically integrated licenses. Additionally, the bill has a THC dosage limit of 50 milligrams, unless a patient is terminally ill, in which case they may be able to access 75 milligram THC.

Alabama's legalization of medical marijuana follows a spate of cannabis legalization throughout the U.S., including Virginia and New York legalizing recreational cannabis earlier in the year, and Montana, New Jersey, South DakotaArizona, and Mississipi all legalizing some form of marijuana use on the fifth of November last year.

As such, it looks like 2021 will go down as the most progressive year when it comes to cannabis legalization since the War on Drugs, and it's highly likely we will continue to see states legalize either recreational or medical marijuana throughout the year.

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Louis O'Neill
Louis O'Neill

Louis is a writer based in Sydney with a focus on social and political issues. Having interviewed local politicians and entrepreneurs, Louis now focuses on cannabis culture, legislation & reform.