NEWS BRIEF

Alabama inches closer to key vote on medical marijuana legalization

Alabama state House Republicans opposed to medical marijuana legalization used a filibuster to block a vote after hours of debate Tuesday, but the measure is expected back on the House floor Thursday.

The Alabama Senate approved a relatively restrictive program by a 21-8 vote in February. However the House is seen as a higher hurdle and a close vote is expected.

The measure, Senate Bill 46, would offer up to five vertical licenses and a small number of stand-alone licenses. It would prohibit smokable flower, vaping products and edibles.

But the bill is seen as a huge first step in the Deep South state.

More than a dozen patient conditions would qualify for medical cannabis use, including chronic pain, cancer, terminal illness, epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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