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The Status of Medical Cannabis in Alabama

Updated: Jan 25

Contributed by: M. Jansen Voss, Christian & Small LLP


The Application for medical cannabis business licenses closed on December 30, 2022. Alabama is now one step closer to implementing a regulatory framework for medical cannabis in the state. The Alabama Compassion Act authorized the creation of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission as the primary licensing and regulatory authority for medical cannabis in the state.


As of December 30th, the Commission received 94 applications:

  • 38 applications for Integrated Facilities (the Commission will only select up to 5 applicants),

  • 12 applications for cultivators (the Commission will only select up to 12 applicants),

  • 12 applications for processors (the Commission will only select up to 4 applicants),

  • 28 applications for dispensaries (the Commission will only select up to 5 applicants),

  • 11 applications for secure transporters (no stated limits), and,

  • 3 applications for State Testing Laboratories (no stated limits).

After a public comment period and public hearing, the Commission expects to grant initial licenses by June 12th and issue licenses by July 10th, 2023.

It is unlikely that a qualifying patient will be able to purchase medical cannabis on July 10th, 2023. Unsuccessful applicants will likely appeal the Commission’s decisions and delay the issuance of licenses. Additionally, a Constitutional challenge to Alabama’s medical cannabis has long been rumored. Although no challenge has materialized, we shouldn’t count it out.

Growing, processing, and offering medical cannabis for sale is only part of Alabama's medical cannabis regulatory framework. Other regulations tightly control 1) physicians’ abilities to certify a patient for medical cannabis, and 2) patients' and patient caregivers’ possession and use of medical cannabis.

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