Becoming a Patient in Alabama


To become a patient eligible for CBD under Leni’s Law, the patient must receive a diagnosis for a serious condition that is resistant to conventional medicine from a physician with whom they have a bona-fide physician-patient relationship and the CBD must be likely to provide the patient with therapeutic or palliative relief.

Carly’s Law previously required participation in a University of Alabama clinical trial to become a legal patient.

Eligible conditions

The affirmative defense is available if CBD would likely provide the patient with therapeutic or palliative relief to a number of conditions including: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe or chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures; severe and persistent muscle spasms. There is additionally a catchall to include any other condition that is severe and resistant to conventional medicine as an eligible condition.

Application process

There is no formal application process to become a patient. The only way to gain legal access to medical cannabis through Leni’s Law is by being provided CBD by a physician.


Any physician may recommend and provide CBD, but a recommendation is not required (notwithstanding federal law).


Minors are eligible for the affirmative defense and parents of minors who would be eligible are also covered by the affirmative defense regarding possession of CBD for the use of those minors.

Additionally, state and local governments cannot initiate removal proceedings to remove a child from the home of a parent based solely on the parent or child’s possession of CBD that is eligible for the affirmative defense.

Carly’s Law previously provided a protection for caretakers of patients, but this was deleted under the Leni’s Law amendments.


There are no restrictions on consumption amounts of CBD.

Age Limits

There are no age restrictions on being eligible for the affirmative defense.


There are no explicit privacy protections, but HIPPA protections offered to all medical patients also apply to medical cannabis therapy under Leni’s Law.


There are no housing protections provided by Leni’s Law.


There are no employment protections under Leni’s Law.


Alabama law is silent on whether insurance can cover CBD oil.

Out of State Patients

Leni’s Law does not specify that the patient must be a resident of Alabama or otherwise restrict residency for protection under the law.

Becoming a Producer

Alabama law does not include specific protections for producers of CBD oil or other cannabis products.

Landmark Legal Rulings



For More information

University of Alabama-Birmingham Department of Neurology