Cannabis still isn’t fully legalized on a federal level yet but the progress that’s being made across the country is truly at the hands of state governments. The South, specifically, has made some serious progress, despite the fact that prohibition laws were among the harshest in the country for something as simple as a joint. For example, Alabama hasn’t allowed recreational cannabis businesses to pop up in the state, though they’re now trying to speed up the process to get medicinal cannabis in the hands of patients sooner.
Per Al.com, the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission is pressing to have cannabis plants in the ground in hopes that products could be available by 2022. The AMCC has issued a request to lawmakers to revise the bill in order to issue licenses for growers by the top of next year, the latest. Under the current legislation, people can begin applying for licenses on Sept. 1st. 2022.
That being said, growers will need 90 to 110 days to grow the plants. In the case that the Sept. 1st, 2022 application date isn’t pushed up, then products will only be available at the top of 2023.
Madison County farmer and north region vice president for the Alabama Farmers Federation and Commission Vice Chair Rex Vaughn said that he’s been discussing the date change with legislatures and things do look promising. “It may allow us to grow a crop in 2022,” Vaughn said. “That is our game plan right now.”
If the process ends up being sped up, Commission Chair Dr. Steven Stokes explained that they’re eyeing for products to be available on shelves by fall 2022. “That’s our goal. A lot of moving parts have to be put together,” he said.
Under the discretion of doctors, patients in Alabama will be able to be prescribed medicinal cannabis for the following conditions and illnesses, per WBHM: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); Cancer-related cachexia, nausea or vomiting, weight loss or chronic pain; Crohn’s Disease; depression; epilepsy or a condition causing seizures; HIV/AIDS-related nausea or weight loss; panic disorder; Parkinson’s disease; persistent nausea that is not significantly responsive to traditional treatment, except for nausea related to pregnancy, cannabis-induced cyclical vomiting syndrome, or cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); Sickle Cell Anemia; spasticity associated with a motor neuron disease, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis or a spinal cord injury; a terminal illness; Tourette’s Syndrome; a condition causing chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate; and therapy is contraindicated or has proved ineffective.