Alabama Medical Cannabis Study Commission Begins Work on Legislation

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The Alabama Medical Cannabis Study Commission has been weighing the pros and cons of legalizing medical cannabis in the state, and the group is now entering discussions on a draft version of legislation that will be introduced to the legislature early next year.

The commission, which held its first meeting in August, was charged with recommending medical cannabis legislation that could be considered in the 2020 legislative session. The group was created by lawmakers as a compromise after a bill to legalize medical cannabis in the state stalled earlier this year. It consists of representatives from fields such as medicine, law enforcement, drug addiction treatment, agriculture and pharmacy, according to an report.

The draft bill would create a Medical Cannabis Commission responsible for establishing a regulatory framework for the issuance of medical cannabis cards for patients with qualifying conditions, which include agitation associated with dementia, autism spectrum disorder, chemotherapy-induced nausea, Chron’s Disease or irritable bowel syndrome, a condition causing chronic pain such as fibromyalgia and migraines, epilepsy or other condition causing chronic seizures, HIV/AIDS-related nausea or weight loss, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleep disorders, spasticity associated with a motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injuries, terminal illnesses and Tourette’s Syndrome.

Sen. Tim Melson (R-Florence), the commission chairman, has urged members to study the draft legislation and make any recommended changes ahead of the legislative session, which begins Feb. 4, reported.

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