Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has signed SB 236, also known as the “CARE Act,” which stops short of legalizing medical cannabis but creates a fifteen-person commission of doctors, legislators, and other governor appointees to study medical cannabis legalization in the state.

The CARE Act Commission must present draft legislation for the 2020 session by December 1, 2019. In addition, the CARE Act extends Carly’s Law, the groundbreaking 2015 law that authorizes the University of Alabama at Birmingham to study high CBD oil and intractable seizure disorders.

Rep. Mike Ball (D-Birmingham) thinks most Alabamians won’t notice the change in law but believes it will eventually help Alabamians who need access to medical cannabis.

“I don’t think the public would notice it that other than people who have these cards and go to doctors who treat for that would be able to do that instead of some of the others drugs that they’re being given.” — Rep. Mike Ball (D-Birmingham), via WHNT.

Earlier this year, lawmakers shot down a proposal to expand the state’s extremely limited medical cannabis law.

If Alabama approves a medical cannabis law in 2020, they would become the 34th state, plus Washington D.C., to adopt a statewide medical cannabis system and would join only a handful of other states in the Deep South that has embraced such reforms.


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