Alabama became the latest state to create a medical marijuana program when Governor Kay Ivey on Monday signed legislation to provide for state-licensed dispensaries to sell Alabama-grown and processed marijuana to Alabama citizens with a state medical marijuana card. Marijuana advocates celebrated the moment that many political analysts had said would not come.
“This is a historic day for our state,” said Chey Garrigan, executive director of the Alabama Cannabis Industry Association. “But now the real work begins.”
Senate Bill 46 is sponsored by Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florcence, and was carried on the floor of the House by state Rep. Mike Ball, R-Madison. The legislation establishes the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission to regulate the cannabis industry in Alabama.
“I’d like to thank Governor Kay Ivey for signing the bill,” Garrigan said. “But I especially want to thank Sen. Tim Melson from Florence and Rep. Mike Ball from Madison for nursing this bill and advocating for it for years. Their determination and tireless effort will end suffering for many law-abiding Alabama residents.”
“Our task right now is to work with state officials in selecting knowledgeable experts to serve on the commission,” Garrigan said. “We have the network and knowledge of how this should be done so that it’s fair and the goals are reached responsibly. Having the right people on the commission and the right regulations will ensure success.”
The Alabama Cannabis Industry Association said that it is planning how-to sessions for farmers or anyone who intends to get into the medical cannabis industry business. The Darren Wesley “Ato” Hall Compassion Act is named after the son of Rep. Laura Hall, D-Huntsville, who died from AIDS.
Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition and the Alabama Cannabis Coalition released a joint statement.
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RAMP credited Melson and Ball who “withstood