Alabama Cannabis Business Licenses
WHAT IS ALABAMA'S CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS
Up until 2021, cannabis was predominately illegal in Alabama with a few exceptions for medical use. As of May 17th, 2021, Alabama's Governor Kay Ivey (R) signed a medical cannabis bill into law, making Alabama the 37th state to approve medical cannabis sales to qualified patients. Prior to this legalization effort, there had been many attempts to widely legalize medical cannabis in Alabama but most efforts had been thwarted when presented to the state’s legislators. Prior to this most recent bill, Alabama’s senate passed a medical cannabis bill with state lawmakers voting 22-11 in support of the legislation, which would allow qualifying patients to purchase certain medical cannabis products from state-licensed dispensaries. The most recent bill also expands on expungement reform in the state for certain cannabis convictions.
WHAT ARE ALABAMA'S CANNABIS LAWS?
Laws surrounding the most recent bill passed into legislation are still unknown as regulations are currently under development for the new medical program. Under the new legislation, there are about 20 approved conditions, including anxiety, sleeping disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The bill also prohibits raw cannabis, vaping, smoking, candy products and baked goods products.
Previously in 2014, Alabama passed “Carly's Law” which allowed federally approved clinical trials of CBD oil to treat children with seizure disorder at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. A year later, "The Alabama Medical Marijuana Patients Rights Act" was introduced which allowed patients with qualifying conditions to use medical cannabis. In 2016, the state's legislators passed SB347, also known as "The Alabama Industrial Hemp Research Act," which changed the "definition of marijuana in the controlled substances law to exclude industrial hemp, which was defined as cannabis not containing greater than 0.3% THC. In 2016, the state's legislators passed HB61, which became known as "Leni's Law,” which expanded on “Carly’s Law” from 2014. In 2020, Alabama legislators passed the bill, SB 165, would establish a state Medical Cannabis Commission to register patients and oversee licensing businesses.
WHAT IS ALABAMA'S CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION PROCESS?
The state of Alabama is not currently accepting applications for medical cannabis businesses. However after the recent medical cannabis bill that passed, it’s possible a process will start soon.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN ALABAMA?
Before 2021, cannabis was predominantly illegal in the state of Alabama since prohibition in the 1930’s. Many tried but failed to legalize cannabis for medical use. A few laws, such as Carly’s Law and Leni’s Law, have been established to allow for CBD oil use for medicinal purposes. After May of 2021, the state passed a bill to legalize medical cannabis and is working to set up the logistics around the newly legal industry.
DOES ALABAMA HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?
Alabama’s industrial hemp program is currently in its infancy, having closed a hemp licensing round at the end of November of 2020. The Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries granted over 100 licenses to Growers, Processors/Handlers, and 11 different universities to grow, process, handle and study hemp throughout the state.
ARE YOU PREPARING FOR THE ALABAMA CANNABIS MARKET? PREPARING FOR THE ALABAMA CANNABIS MARKET
The Alabama cannabis market will only continue to grow since medical legalization in 2021. The opportunity to operate a cannabis business of your own within the state is on the horizon. Contact Point7 to discuss the fully customizable products and service packages available that have proved successful for operators around the country.