An Alabaman key house committee has approved a senate bill seeking to legalize medical marijuana. It had also amended a bill previously introduced by Senator Tim Melson that allowed people with qualifying conditions to access cannabis for therapeutic purposes.
The new proposals will see the establishment of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission to implement regulations and oversee licensing. Besides, patients will have to be diagnosed with over twenty conditions, such as intractable pain, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, to qualify for the program. Lawmakers will be the only people able to add any other conditions.
Advocates are however concerned with the condition that patients with chronic pain only be allowed to use medical marijuana when conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy prove ineffective. According to the bill patients would only be allowed to purchase capsules, lozenges, topical patches, oilsand suppositories, with the allowed purchase being 70 daily doses rather than the 55 maximum doses previously approved by the senate.
The bill requires individuals dealing with marijuana products to correctly label them indicating their effects.
In addition, it seeks to include a 9% gross tax on medical marijuana sales with 60 % to go to the state and 30 % into research. Doctors will be required to complete a four-hour continuing education course that would cost them 500 dollars and pass an exam. They would also be expected to take refresher courses every two years.
Meanwhile, under the bill, regulators would be required to develop advertisement restrictions and establish quality control standards. Tracking from seed to sale and laboratory testing will also be required. Advocates in Virginia greatly anticipate reintroducing the bill after the House committee failed to enact a bill approved by Senate on medical marijuana in 2019.
The Judiciary commission passed ten changes yesterday. One of them would mandate regulators to hold a public hearing before awarding a cannabis business permit.