Tag: medical marijuana

Birmingham Council to Hear Arguments on Zoning for Medical Cannabis Dispensaries

The Birmingham City Council has set a Nov. 29 public hearing over proposed changes to the city’s zoning code that would allow for medical cannabis production facilities and dispensaries within city limits.

It’s the next step in a process the council started last month when it approved an ordinance broadly authorizing medical cannabis dispensaries in Birmingham. The Alabama State Legislature, which legalized the production and distribution of medical marijuana last year, will maintain strict control over the licensing process via the newly created Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, which is not expected to issue distributor licenses until July.

The new zoning code also would change zoning definitions for opioid replacement therapy treatment facilities, moving them from the “special exception” category to “permitted with conditions.” Read more.

Melson: Proposed Changes Coming to Medical Marijuana Law

MONTGOMERY— Proposed changes to Alabama’s medical cannabis law will be coming soon.

Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, the sponsor of the cannabis bill that became law earlier this year, said he will file legislation to make technical changes to some of the wording around timing and deadlines in the law, including starting the licensing process for growers earlier. Read more.

Medical Marijuana Commission Holds Organizational Meeting

MONTGOMERY — Alabama’s Medical Marijuana Commission gathered for the first time Thursday for an organizational meeting as it begins the process of rolling out medical marijuana policies in the state.

The 14-member panel voted to make Steven Stokes, a Dothan radiation oncologist, chair of the commission.

Stokes told Alabama Daily News that the coming months will be a busy time for the commission as it works to set up the state’s “seed-to-sale” regulatory practices for medical marijuana.
Read more.

Medical Marijuana Bill Clears First of Four Votes

MONTGOMERY — Legislation to allow and regulate the use of medical marijuana cleared its first vote Wednesday and now moves to the state Senate, where about half its members voted last year to approve a similar bill.

“We want to make sure that people who have tried other avenues who are not successful have access to this to try if their physician wants them to,” Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, said Wednesday during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting.

That committee voted 8-1 to advance Senate Bill 165 with one abstention from Sen. Sam Givhan, R-Huntsville. Read more.

Education Budget, Medical Marijuana Commission Pass on Legislators’ Last Day in Montgomery

MONTGOMERY — On the last day of the legislative session, lawmakers approved a record education budget, took a step toward medical marijuana legalization and sent to Alabama voters the decision of whether to scrap the elected state school board in favor of a governor-appointed commission.

After debates and a change, a bill to give new teachers in the state more generous benefits died in the House without a vote.

Legislators ended this year’s regular session Friday, although they are expecting to be called back in the fall for a special session on prisons.
Read about the biggest bills that passed and died on the last day.

Compromise Medical Marijuana Bill to Get House Committee Vote

MONTGOMERY — After the House Rules Chairman said a Senate-passed medical marijuana bill wouldn’t advance in the House, lawmakers were working on a compromise Wednesday that takes a more incremental approach and keeps an existing experimental treatment program in place.

Bill sponsor Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, told Alabama Daily News that a substitute bill to create a state commission to regulate medical marijuana will get a public hearing and committee vote Tuesday. If the bill is approved in the remaining week or two of this legislative session, that commission will make recommendations to lawmakers next year about medical marijuana laws. Read more.

Budgets, Education Reform Among Bills Pending in Final Stretch of Legislative Session

Alabama lawmakers this year have approved a statewide gas tax increase, told sheriffs they can’t keep money meant for feeding jail inmates and said they want a shot at the U.S. Supreme Court with the nation’s most restrictive abortion ban.

The Legislature has two to three weeks remaining in its 2019 session, and a lot of legislating is left to do. Still on the table are proposals for a lottery, the state’s budgets, education bills and medical marijuana, to name just the tip of the iceberg.

For a look at some of the major bills that are pending and what might get punted to a special session later this year, Read more.