Alabama lawmakers OK panel to study medical cannabis legalization

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Alabama lawmakers voted to create a medical marijuana commission that will make recommendations for a bill they might consider in the 2020 legislative session.

The measure was a compromise after an original MMJ proposal hit opposition in the state House of Representatives. The study commission bill now goes to Gov. Kay Ivey.

Republican state Sen. Tim Melson said he wanted to see lawmakers approve a medical marijuana bill this session. But he noted the study commission would mean a step toward that goal.

Melson’s original bill would have allowed patients with certain medical conditions to purchase MMJ with a doctor’s approval. The Alabama Senate approved the measure, but the proposal hit opposition in the House.

The 15-member commission would include doctors and others appointed by the governor, legislative leaders and the attorney general. The panel would submit draft legislation and recommendations to lawmakers by Dec. 1.

The commission bill also extends Carly’s Law, a statute that allows some patients to access CBD oil through a study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

– Associated Press