Alabama Legal Information
In 2014, the Alabama state legislature passed SB 174, a restrictive cannabidiol (CBD) law. Officially entitled "Carly's Law," it offers an affirmative defense for the possession and use of CBD; however, the program is extremely limited and may not be able to provide CBD-rich medicine to patients in Alabama. At the time, the law only allows for CBD access after a medical practitioner at the University of Alabama-Birmingham’s (UAB) Department of Neurology has made a diagnosis for a “debilitating epileptic condition,” at which point the physician may “prescribe” CBD-rich preparations that are less than 3% THC and “essentially free of plant material.”
In 2016, HB 61 was passed, which expanded the affirmative defense to several conditions and removed the requirement that patients must be enrolled in the UAB study program.
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View and print the Alabama MMJ State Report Card from our latest report: Medical Marijuana Access in the U.S. A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws.
In 2014, the Alabama state legislature passed SB 174, a restrictive cannabidiol (CBD) law. Officially entitled "Carly's Law," it offers an affirmative defense for the possession and use of CBD. HB61 (2016) extends low-THC extract affirmative defense to patients with more qualifying conditions as well as parent caregivers.
To become a patient eligible for CBD oil therapy under SB 174, the patient must receive a diagnosis for a debilitating epileptic condition, which is defined as "Epilepsy or other neurological disorder, or the treatment of epilepsy or other neurological disorder that, as diagnosed by a board-certified neurologist under the employment or authority of the UAB Department, produces serious, debilitating, or life-threatening seizures."
Only UAB physicians from the Department of Neurology may write prescriptions for CBD oil under SB 174. Due to the fact that physicians cannot write prescriptions for Schedule I substances, UAB physicians will not be able to write prescriptions for CBD oil unless it is within the confines of federally approved research study.
UAB's Department of Neurology is the sole legal source for production and distribution of CBD oil under SB174. However, due the the statutory requirement for a "prescription" for CBD oil, and the inability of physicians to write prescriptions for Schedule I substances, it seems very unlikely that any production or distribution will take place under current Alabama and federal law.
Unfortunately, patients, caregivers, and providers are still vulnerable to federal and state arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration. They also suffer pervasive discrimination in employment, child custody, housing, public accommodation, education and medical care.