The Alabama House Committee gave a favorable report to a substitute bill for SB 236 which means it will now wait for a chance to appear on the House floor for debate and a vote which could happen on Thursday.

The bill has changed drastically from what the Senate passed earlier this month, so let’s take a look at what the substitute SB 236 will do.

  • Renews Carly’s Law for one year. The law is set to expire on July 1, 2019. The new expiration date will be July 1, 2020.
  • Establishes the Medical Cannabis Study Commission made up of 15 members.
    • Three members appointed by the Governor.
      • One member must be a physician licensed in the state of Alabama with a practice that involves pain management or certified in the specialty of neurology.
      • One member must be a licensed pharmacist.
    • Two members appointed by the Lt. Governor.
      • One member must be a physician licensed in the state of Alabama with a practice that involves palliative care.
      • One member who is a physician in the state of Alabama licensed in the specialty of pediatric neurology.
    • Two members appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate
      • One member must be a physician licensed in the state to practice medicine in the specialty of oncology.
      • One member who has experience in multiple crop development and agricultural practices.
    • Two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
      • One member must have a background and experience in mental health or substance abused counseling and treatment.
      • One member must have professional experience in agricultural systems management.
    • Three members appointed by the Attorney General.
      • One member who is a district attorney.
      • One member who is an attorney specializing in criminal defense.
      • One member who is an attorney specializing in employment law.
    • The State Health Officer or his or her designee.
    • The Director of the Department of Forensic Sciences or his or her designee.
    • One member appointed by the Executive Director of the Drug Education Council.
  • Members must be at least 30 years of age, citizens of the United States and residents of this state for at least five continuous years immediately preceding their appointment.
  • A member may not have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, in any dispensary, cultivator, processor, or distributor of hemp or marijuana in any state.
  • The first meeting will be no later than July 15, 2019.
  • The commission must do all of the following:
    • Schedule and hold a minimum of three public hearings to hear from patients and families who may benefit from the use of medical cannabis, from physicians and other healthcare providers who may be involved in the implementation of medical cannabis use in the state, and from members of the public who interests or concerns regarding medical cannabis.
    • Examine Federal laws and regulations and other state’s laws and legislation, as well as legislation in this state, relating to the medical use of cannabis.
    • The commission shall consider patient qualification, the role of physicians in recommending the medical use of cannabis, patient registration, licensing of facilities and providers of medical cannabis services such as cultivation, processing, labeling, transporting, shipping and dispensing of medical cannabis.
    • The commission shall consider testing of medical cannabis to ensure product safety, the role of law enforcement, the role of other state regulatory agencies or boards, the current criminal laws relating to possession and use of marijuana and any other issues relevant to the medical use of cannabis.
    • Make recommendations to the legislature relating to the medical use of cannabis in the state.
    • The commission shall report its findings and draft legislation to the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore by December 1, 2019.
  • The commission shall be dissolved on the last day of the 2020 legislative session.
Brent Wilson
Brent was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama and is the founder of BamaPolitics.com.