Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission holds first meeting

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 5:27 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The state took another major step in making medical cannabis a reality. The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission has been formed and met Thursday for the first time inside the Alabama Capitol.

The journey started Thursday for the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission. Inside a cavernous room on the second floor of the state Capitol, Gov. Kay Ivey got things started with a command.

“Ladies and gentlemen, make no mistake...I can’t urge you strongly enough to keep transparency and ethics foremost in your mind,” said Ivey.

The panel consists of some 15 members from all walks of life. Nothing of significance took place in terms of setting regulations and guidelines. This was only the beginning of a very long process.

“I hope we’ll move forward on where we are on executive director, on the process of identifying and hiring someone. I’m hoping we can get forward on how we’re going to star the permitting process for the people who are going to grow it,” said commission chairman and cancer specialist Steven Stokes.

“We simply have to get this right,” said Ivey.

The meeting Thursday came two months after Ivey signed Senate Bill 46, a measure that authorizes medical marijuana for a multitude of illnesses ranging from cancer to autism. Alabama now joins 35 other states with a similar program.

In theory, Alabama doctors can start prescribing medical cannabis early next year, provided they complete training that includes computer work, a test and a fee.

Thursday was just the first step. The second meeting is set in two weeks.

Stokes says it will be in the second meeting in two weeks when panel members will begin the crucial steps in outlining restrictions.

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