The Wait is Finally (Almost) Over: What You Need to Know About Medical Marijuana in Alabama
Updated: Jun 2
Besides the obvious question on everyone’s mind (“How can I get an Alabama Medical Marijuana card?”), Governor Ivey’s signing of the recent medical marijuana legislation may have you wondering how this law affects you.
We’ve put together this quick guide to how legal marijuana finally came to Alabama, and what exactly the new law includes.
Alabama has waited long enough for the relief that only medical marijuana can bring, so let’s not delay any further. Let’s take a look at the road leading up to this landmark law, what legalized medical marijuana means for Alabamians, and what to look forward to in the future.
So Just How Long Has Alabama Been Waiting for Medical Marijuana?
The first step towards medical marijuana in Alabama came in 2014, with the passage of Carly’s Law. The law’s namesake, Carly Chander, was a then-3-year-old girl with severe epilepsy, whose parents wanted to be able to legally give her relief from her symptoms with medical marijuana.
Carly’s Law allowed Alabamians with a “debilitating epileptic condition” who had exhausted other avenues for treatment and relief to purchase and use CBD oil with up to 3% THC.
Carly’s father, Dustin Chandler, told Birmingham CBS affiliate WIAT that he had been opposed to legalization, but changed his mind when he saw how much it helped his daughter. “I think it really opened my eyes to it,” he told WIAT. “And I think it has to a lot of people.”
Chandler may have been right, because the next big step towards legalization came just two years later with the passage of Leni’s Law.
Passed in 2016, Leni’s Law was named for an Alabamian child whose family moved to Oregon so they could use marijuana to treat Leni’s severe (but non-epileptic) seizures.
The bill expanded Carly’s Law to allow all Alabamians who suffered from severe seizures to seek relief with medical marijuana, not just epileptics.
A little more than five years later, the state legislature passed and Governor Ivey signed into law SB 46, a law legalizing medical marijuana for all Alabamians who suffer from at least one more than a dozen qualifying conditions.
What Does Legal Medical Marijuana Mean for the Citizens of Alabama?
Most importantly, this new law means Alabamians who suffer from a number of conditions that can be treated effectively and naturally with marijuana will soon be able to do so without fear of legal prosecution.
Unfortunately, before that can happen, licensed dispensaries will have to be established here.
The law allows for the establishment of up to 12 such dispensaries around the state, but processing applications, granting licenses, and establishing retail supply chains will all take a bit of time. State Representative Mike Ball told the Associated Press that “We’ve still got another year or so before this gets set up and cranked up, but at least we have hope now.”
So, When Can I Legally Buy Marijuana?
First, you have to have at least one of the qualifying conditions that the state recognizes as appropriate for treatment with marijuana.
Not sure if you qualify? Check out our list of conditions medical marijuana can legally be used to treat. And remember, the friendly and helpful support staff at Alabama Marijuana Card is standing by and ready to answer your questions to help you make the best decisions for you.
Purchasing, Possession, and Growing Limits on Medical Marijuana
How Much Medical Marijuana Can You Purchase and Possess at Once?
The short answer to how much marijuana you may purchase and possess at one time is a 60-day supply. And how much is that exactly?
Now things get a little complicated, because exactly how much a 60-day supply is depends in part on your doctor’s recommendations.
At first, your doctor may prescribe you a daily dosage of up to 50 mg of THC. If your doctor determines after 90 days of continuous treatment with medical marijuana that your dosage is insufficient, your doctor may raise that daily dosage as high as 75 mg.
However, if your doctor prescribes you a daily dosage of 75 mg of medical marijuana, your driver’s license will be suspended.
Since patients can possess up to a 60-day supply at any given time, that means you can purchase and possess up to 4.5 grams, or 4500 mg, of THC at once (75 mg for 60 days equals 4,500 mg) .
How does that translate into marijuana flower, concentrate, edibles, etc.? Well that’s where things again get tricky.
Because the law is based on THC levels and not the amount of marijuana, the exact amount of any given product you’re allowed to purchase and possess will be based on the potency of the product you’re purchasing and possessing.
Fortunately, when the time comes and dispensaries open, your local medical marijuana retailer will be able to help you figure out what you’re able to buy and possess given your specific doctor’s recommendation and chosen products.
Can I Grow Marijuana in Alabama?
Sorry, do-it-yourselfers, but that’s a big no-can-do. SB 46 only allows licensed cultivators to grow marijuana.
However, given how quickly some state legislators went from opponents to proponents of medical marijuana after seeing the benefits to Alabamians of Carly and Leni’s Laws, anything could happen down the road.
What About Taxes? There are Always Taxes.
There is a 9% sales tax on dispensary purchases, as well as fees on business and patient registrations and business licensing taxes.
What is the State Doing with that Money?
The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, the governing agency created by SB 46, will use tax revenue and fees to pay for the costs of administering medical marijuana here. Revenues collected in excess of Commission costs will go to the state General Fund and a new Medical Cannabis Research Fund.
Ready to Get Your Alabama Medical Marijuana Card?
Sure, there is nothing to purchase yet, but the state’s medical marijuana market is on the way, so there is no better time than right now to register with the state.
And thanks to SB 46, several health conditions either qualify patients for medical marijuana prescriptions or fit into a qualifying sub-category, meaning large numbers of Alabamians are qualified to get their cards.
So chances are you’re eligible, but what about the hassle of going through the whole process of getting your card? Well just as medical marijuana can now be used to treat anxiety, let Alabama Medical Marijuana Card soothe your worries about getting your card.
In fact, you don’t even have to leave your home to see a doctor if you’d rather not. Alabama Marijuana Card offers telemedicine appointments, so that you can start the process of getting the relief medical marijuana can offer using just your computer or your smartphone.
So call our team Monday through Saturday at 833-781-5633, or visit our website to learn more about whether you qualify for a card.
Reserve your appointment today, and you’ll be ready for a medical evaluation by an Alabama marijuana doctor when we start offering them. You’ll also save $25 off your examination.
To begin the process of getting your card, or have your questions answered by one of our friendly support staff by calling 833-781-5633.
Learn More About Medical Marijuana
With the state’s medical marijuana market still so far away from being established, informational resources about medical marijuana here are still limited.
Fortunately, Alabama Marijuana Card is building an informational library about all things Alabama and medical marijuana. Sign up for our newsletter so you can keep current with the latest developments in Alabama medical marijuana.
You can also follow us on Facebook to join in the dialogue and share your support for the medical marijuana community.
The better informed you are about medical marijuana, the better you’ll feel about the healthcare choices you make for your symptom management and overall well being. Check back with us here at Alabama Marijuana Card often, and you’ll be ready when those dispensary doors open.
You deserve the relief you need without the stress of legal worries, and Alabama Marijuana Card is here to help you get it!
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
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.
If you have any questions, call us at 833-781-5633, or simply reserve a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
And don’t forget to check out Alabama Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information.