Now that Gov. Kay Ivey finally signed the medical marijuana bill, what’s next? After the state passed this law that allows qualified people to use this plant in Alabama, they are now asking how to get medical marijuana in Alabama? Though it will take time to issue the MMj card, we shall take you through what you should expect. Alabama joined the 36 other states that have legalized weed for medicinal use.
Since Alabama banned the weed in 1931, it’s been over nine decades that citizens have been trying to have it reinstated. However, they failed severally even with “The Alabama Medical Marijuana Patients Rights Act in 2012.”
So, it was a new dawn when the Governor signed Bill 46 on May 17, 2021, into law. And it should be effective immediately, though the state still doesn’t have the infrastructure until September 1, 2022.
And that’s why many can only wonder how to get medical marijuana in Alabama? So, there is no way of applying for MMJ or buying weed before the said date.
But we’ll guide you on applying for an MMJ card in Alabama as the legislation continues to work on the program’s provisions.
We shall look at Seven Strategies That An Applicant Can Use
Have Conditions That Will Qualify For Medical Cannabis in Alabama:
People applying for the MMJ card must first check if they have one of the illnesses stipulated by the Alabama state.
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
And these are just a sneak peek of conditions listed by the Commission.
Must be An Alabama Resident
The application of the MMJ card will only be open for legal residents of Alabama. And proof of residence should be similar to the rest of other states. These include:
- State’s ID
- State’s driving license
Be An Adult or Have a Caregiver
All applicants will have to be 19+ years old, which means they should have a state ID. But since minors qualify with diseases like epilepsy and others, they can have a guardian or a caregiver to apply on their behalf. The state hasn’t set the requirements of such people, though.
Get a Doctor’s Recommendation
As every state with an MMJ program requires the patients to get the same from a licensed physician, we expect Alabama to follow the same lead. So, applicants must schedule a consultation with a state’s registered doctor. They can take their previous medical records, as the doctor will also ask questions regarding their conditions.
As per the current law, a doc must first verify a patient has one of the conditions listed by the state, and they should also ascertain that other conventional treatments have failed.
After the physician certifies a patient is suffering from one of the above conditions, he should register. Qualifying patients have to do this online with the (currently unavailable) Alabama Cannabis Commission. Then they can have their names written in an online database which will permit them to purchase the medical weed.
What should be in the registry system?
- Signed physician’s certification
- Patient’s and caregiver’s registration
- Patient’s information such as their name, caregiver’s name where applicable.
- Their medical condition recommendation.
- Their daily dose and the recommended weed.
A Patient needs to know that their information is safe, and can’t get exposed to anyone. But it exempts law enforcement under limited circumstances, and however, they have to show a reasonable cause of suspicion before they get access.
Now you’re ready to start your application. Though currently, there is no information on how long the card processing will take. And still, no info if patients will receive a temporary digital card as they wait for the hard MMJ card. But most likely, it should be after one week of card approval like other states.
Alabama’s MMJ card will cost $65 at most. So, prepare for this amount after you submit your card application. The Commission has not decided on the validity of the MMJ card, and most states give up to 12 months.
The doctor’s consultation depends on the practitioner, and it should approximate from $150 to $300.
Further Information on Alabama’s Medical Marijuana Program
What are some of the restrictions that will apply? It’s crucial to get all these clear, so cannabis users don’t get in trouble.
As per state’s law, MMJ cardholders will only possess medical cannabis of up to 70 daily every 12 months. And the maximum dose per day is 50mg of THC. But there’s no confirmation on how long the prescription can go for before renewal.
But if a physician believes the patient requires a higher dose than that and is appropriate for him, he can increase up to (75) of THC a day.
If a patient uses a higher dose, he shouldn’t drive. Otherwise, the authorities will suspend their driver’s license.
Please note that, at present, it’s illegal to possess any amount of cannabis in Alabama. Anyone caught will get a fine of $6,000-or one year imprisonment. And if caught selling it, you get a minimum of two years in jail and a maximum of 20 years.
Type of Cannabis Allowed
Any cardholder that qualifies for medical cannabis can only use topicals, capsules, liquids, skin patches, and oil through an inhaler. That means they can’t smoke, vape, or mix in food products like cookies or sell them raw.
According to Venture, the new law will include a “wholly intrastate system” for medical weed processing, cultivation, and distribution. In essence, if an Alabamian qualifies for the MMJ card, they can only consume it in their state, and while using cannabis products from another state will be illegal.
Even after the passing of this bill, the state doesn’t allow registered drug cannabis users from other states to use their prescribed cannabis products in Alabama.
So, out-of-state MMJ cardholders can’t have their weed shipped to them in Alabama. They need to know it’s illegal in this state, even if they have a card.
Rules concerning physician certification are a work in progress. But this shouldn’t be later than Dec. The online patient registry in the bill must be operational before people start using medical cannabis, which should be at least before September 1, 2022.
finally, medical cannabis is legal in Alabama, although the card will take time to develop. And when the right time comes, this is what you’ll follow as we have discussed how to get medical marijuana in Alabama.