Group to begin work on Alabama’s new medical marijuana program

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The 14 people who will oversee Alabama’s new medical marijuana hires will meet for the first time on Thursday.

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, created by legislation passed in May, will meet at 1 p.m. at the State House in Montgomery.

The panel is faced with several deadlines to define the rules for launching what will be a fully intra-state program.

The law directs the commission to establish rules to allow companies to apply for licenses to cultivate, produce, transport and sell the products by September 1, 2022. On that same date, the commission must set up a registry patients and caregivers who can purchase the products.

Alabama has become the 37th state to legalize cannabis products for medical purposes, according to the National Conference for State Legislatures.

Gov. Kay Ivey, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon, Speaker of the Senate Pro Tem Greg Reed and others have appointed the 14 members, who will lead a “seed for sale” regulatory system to medical cannabis.

The legislation has allocated the slots to appointees with certain professional backgrounds, such as medicine, agriculture, and pharmacy.

  • Ivey appointed Dr. William Saliski Jr., a pulmonologist from Montgomery; Sam Blakemore, pharmacist at Alabama Children’s Hospital in Birmingham; and Dwight Gamble, a Headland bank executive.
  • Ainsworth appointed Dr Angela Martin, a pediatrician from Anniston; Dr Eric Jensen, a biochemist from Brownsboro; and Loree Skelton, a Birmingham healthcare lawyer.
  • McCutcheon appointed Rex Vaughn, a Madison County farmer and vice president of the northern region of the Alabama Farmers’ Federation; and Charles Price, a retired circuit judge from Montgomery.
  • Reed appointed Dr Steven Stokes, a radiation oncologist from Dothan; and Taylor Hatchett of Boozer Farms in Chilton County.
  • Agriculture Commissioner Rick Pate has appointed James Harwell, former executive director of the Alabama Nursery and Landscape Association and president of the Green Thumb Nursery in Montgomery.
  • State Health Officer Dr Scott Harris appointed Dr Jerzy P. Szaflarski as Director of the UAB Epilepsy Center in the Department of Neurology and Principal Investigator in the UAB Oil Use Study of CBD to treat seizure disorders, a program authorized by the passage of the Carly Act in 2014. legislation in 2019.
  • Attorney General Steve Marshall has appointed Katherine Robertson, chief counsel for the AG’s office, as his designate, for a non-voting advisory position.
  • Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Taylor appointed Dion Robinson, a senior special agent of the FTAA, as a non-voting advisory member.

The first meeting is for organizational purposes. The law directs the commission to elect a president and a vice-president.

Commission members cannot have a financial interest in businesses that are part of the medical marijuana industry. Public officials, candidates for public office, public employees and lobbyists were not eligible to serve on the commission.

The panel will oversee the licensing of processors, testing laboratories, secure carriers and dispensaries.

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries will license and regulate growers.

Related: What’s In Alabama’s Medical Marijuana Bill?

The legislation lists a wide range of conditions and symptoms that would make patients eligible: autism; cancer-related weight loss or chronic pain; Crohn; depression; epilepsy or a condition causing seizures; nausea or weight loss related to HIV / AIDS; panic disorder; Parkinson’s; persistent nausea unrelated to pregnancy; PTSD; sickle cell; spasticity associated with diseases such as ALS and multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injury; terminal illnesses; Tourette; chronic pain for which conventional therapies and opiates should not be used or are ineffective.

The products may be in the form of tablets, capsules, tinctures or gel cubes for oral use. These can be gels, oils or creams for topical use. These can be suppositories, transdermal patches, nebulizers, or liquids or oils for use in an inhaler.

Vegetable raw materials, products that could be smoked or vaped, or food products such as cookies or candies would not be allowed.

Related: Parents See Hope In Alabama’s New Medical Marijuana Law


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