Alabama State Senator Introduces New Bill to Legalize Medical Marijuana

Is medical marijuana heading to the Heart of Dixie? That’s what Alabama state Sen. Tim Melson is fixing to do.

Melson, a Republican, on Tuesday introduced a bill to legalize medical cannabis, a measure that would make Alabama the 34th state to take such a step. His legislation would establish the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, which would be charged with establishing and administering a patient registry system, issuing medical marijuana cards, issuing licenses for cultivating, processing, dispensing and transporting, and testing the cannabis. The commission would also adopt rules, impose restrictions on licensee activity, and regulate the medical cannabis program in the state.

Under Melson’s proposal, patients with anxiety or panic disorder, autism, cancer-related cachexia, nausea or vomiting, weight loss or chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, and HIV/AIDS, among other qualifying conditions, would be eligible for a medical marijuana prescription.

Alabama’s Medical Cannabis Study Commission

For Melson, who is a physician, the bill has been a long time coming. He introduced legislation to legalize medical marijuana last year, but it stalled in the legislature and his colleagues opted instead to create a commission tasked with studying the issue.

Melson chaired the Alabama’s Medical Cannabis Study Commission, which held several meetings

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