With medical marijuana finally on its way to Alabama, many here in the Heart of Dixie have two questions on their minds: When will medical marijuana be available here, and how do I get an Alabama Marijuana Card?
Well the answers to those questions are a sort of good news, bad news, good news scenario.
First, the good news: Medical marijuana is indeed on its way to Alabama, thanks to the passage of SB 46, the state’s medical marijuana law. SB 46 lays out the rules and regulations the state must operate by in establishing its medical marijuana market.
Now, the bad news: So many of the steps required by SB 46 are so far from complete that it's hard to predict exactly when the market will be in place, but it will be at least the fall of 2022 before medical marijuana is available here.
And finally, more good news: We do already know the steps you’ll have to take in order to get an Alabama Marijuana Card. Even better, we can help you complete those steps.
Step One: The Little Stuff
Cards will not be issued to people who are not residents of Alabama, nor will they be given to anyone under the age of 19.
If you’re 18, don’t give up hope. You still will be able to access medical marijuana provided you have a designated caregiver and one of the qualifying conditions.
Step Two: What are “Qualifying Conditions?” for Medical Marijuana in Alabama
Qualifying conditions are medical conditions or symptoms that 1) are generally recognized by SB 46 as appropriate conditions to treat with medical marijuana and 2) have not responded well to traditional treatments for a specific patient.
So in order to qualify for an Alabama Marijuana Card, you need to be 19 or older, or have a designated caregiver, and be suffering from one of the following conditions:
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
HIV/AIDS-related nausea or weight loss
Persistent nausea that is not significantly responsive to traditional treatment, except for nausea related to pregnancy, cannabis-induced cyclical vomiting syndrome, or cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome
Sickle Cell Anemia
Spasticity associated with a motor neuron disease, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Spasticity associated with Multiple Sclerosis or a spinal cord injury
A terminal illness
A condition causing chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or has proved ineffective
If you have one of these conditions, I wouldn’t exactly say congratulations are in order, but at least potential relief is coming your way.
Step Three: Yes, I Have a Qualifying Condition. Now Can I Have an Alabama Marijuana Card?
Not so fast. A qualified physician who is registered with the state must first certify that you are indeed suffering from one of the qualifying conditions and that traditional treatments haven’t alleviated your symptoms.
A qualified physician in this case is one who: has an active license to practice medicine in Alabama; has completed a medical marijuana training course and passed an examination; and has paid a fee to register with the Board of Medical Examiners.
Once you’ve consulted with a qualified physician, and they determine you are indeed eligible for an Alabama Marijuana Card, they’ll file that recommendation with the Alabama Medical Cannabis Patient Registry System.
Step Four: Whoo-hoo! I’m in the Patient Registry and Now I Get My Alabama Marijuana Card!
Look, I get you’re excited. We’re all excited to finally have a chance at the relief medical marijuana can offer, but you’ve got to quit jumping the gun like that.
Once your doctor has filed your case with the Alabama Medical Cannabis Patient Registry System, you’ll still need to pay a fee to the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission. We don’t know yet exactly how much that fee will be, but we know that by law it cannot be more than $65.
So How Long Will It Be Before I Can Get an Alabama Marijuana Card?
The big date to mark on your calendar is September 1st, 2022. That’s the day by which SB 26 says the state has to be ready to process applications from medical marijuana patients and their doctors.
So What Do I Do in the Meantime? Just Wait?
Well unfortunately you have no choice but to wait, but you don’t have to just wait.
Set Up News Alerts
One thing you can do while you wait is set up news alerts on your preferred internet search engine. Try keeping an eye out for news related to the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission. As the Commission is forming and meeting its various benchmarks, like the establishment of physician training requirements and the issuing of dispensary licenses, you’ll be able to keep up with the latest developments to know just how much wait you’ve got left.
Watch the Board of Medical Examiners’ Website
SB 46 requires that the Board of Medical Examiners keep a list on its website of physicians who have met the qualifications to be Alabama marijuana doctors and who are therefore qualified to register you with the Alabama Medical Cannabis Patient Registry.
Once a doctor is available who meets your location and insurance coverage needs, you’ll be ready to schedule your exam and get started.
Isn’t There an Easier Way to Get an Alabama Marijuana Card?
There sure is: Let us jump through all of the hoops for you!
Reserve an appointment with one of our doctors today. Just as soon as the market here is up and running, we’ll set you up with an appointment with one of our qualified, compassionate marijuana physicians. You’ll meet with them via a telemedicine evaluation from the comfort of your own home using a smartphone or tablet. You’ll also save $25 off the cost of your appointment!
If you and your doctor decide medical marijuana is right for you, they will register you with the state. Then once you’ve paid your fee to the Commission, you’ll be a card-carrying marijuana patient, right as the market is opening!
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
At Alabama Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at 833-781-5633, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Alabama Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information.