Policy Recommendations Alabama

2020-21 Improvements and Recommendations

In May of 2021, after a lengthy filibuster by prohibitionists, Governor Kay Ivy signed SB 46 into law authorizing the creation of the state’s medical cannabis program. Once the program is up and running, medical cannabis can be used by individuals to treat 18 conditions including intractable pain, anxiety, and depression. The legislation has no specific deadline set for this program to be functional for patents, though it requires that the commission responsible for the regulation of medical cannabis from July 2021 and outlines the requirement of annual reports on their progress each January. Residents of Alabama probably won’t begin receiving medical cards for at least a few years. When the program does eventually open its doors, patients will have limited selections when it comes to medicine, as all forms of raw cannabis including smoking, vaping, and many forms of edibles will remain prohibited; only capsules, lozenges, oils, topical patches, and suppositories will be available.

ASA recommends that legislators expand access to cover all forms of cannabis as soon as they can; it will only have positive health outcomes in the state.