Alabama Cannabis License Guidelines

Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission

Licensing and Enforcement Criteria

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, AMCC, was established by the Alabama legislature during the 2021 legislative session and signed into law by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. The AMCC consists of fourteen board members appointed by the Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Senate Pro Tem., Agriculture and Industries Commissioner, State Health Officer, Attorney General, and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. Board members must have expertise in a range of fields, including medicine, pharmacy, agricultural lending and practices, law enforcement, legal compliance, and mental health.

The AMCC will work to implement and administer the laws by making medical cannabis derived from cannabis grown in Alabama available to registered qualified patients and by licensing facilities that process, transport, test or dispense medical cannabis. AMCC is authorized to both administer and enforce the laws and rules relating to medical cannabis.

Alabama Cannabis Law and Compliance

Several laws and ordinances regulate the Alabama commercial cannabis industry, as well as the many different steps in the supply chain. These laws range over dispositions for cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and retail dispensaries. The most recent news can be found on these websites:

FAQs

When will medical cannabis product be available?

The date when medical cannabis will be available is uncertain. Please check this website frequently for updates here.

When can I apply for a license to grow and/or manufacture medical cannabis?

Beginning September 1, 2022, a person may apply to the commission for a license for an integrated facility or for a license as a cultivator processor, secure transporter, state testing laboratory or dispensary.

What types of medical cannabis products are approved for use in Alabama?

Allowed Products:

  • Tablets
  • Capsules
  • Tinctures
  • Gels, oils, and creams for topical use
  • Suppositories
  • Transdermal patches
  • Nebulizers
  • Liquids or oils for use in an inhaler

Products That Are Not Allowed:

  • Raw plant material
  • Products that could be smoked or vaped
  • Food products such as cookies or candies

What conditions qualify for medical cannabis treatment?

  • Autism
  • Cancer-related weight loss or chronic pain
  • Crohn’s
  • Depression, epilepsy or condition causing seizures
  • HIV/AIDS-related nausea or weight loss
  • Panic disorder
  • Parkinson’s
  • Persistent nausea not related to pregnancy
  • PTSD
  • Sickle Cell
  • Spasticity associated with diseases including ALS, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injuries
  • Terminal illnesses
  • Tourette’s
  • Chronic pain for which conventional therapies and opiates should not be used or are ineffective

What are the age restrictions?

Patients 19 or older with a qualifying condition could receive a medical cannabis card to buy the products. Parents and others could register as caregivers to obtain the products for minors.

Cannabis License Types

For an applicant seeking an integrated facility license or a cultivator license, records indicating that a majority of ownership is attributable to an individual or individuals, or an entity or entities, with cumulative business experience in the field of commercial horticulture or agronomic production for a period of at least 15 years.  A nonrefundable application fee of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) shall be paid at the time of filing to defray the costs associated with the background investigation conducted by the commission. If the costs of the investigation and processing the application exceed the application fee, the applicant shall pay the additional amount to the commission.

Cultivator

  1. A cultivator license authorizes all of the following:  
    • The cultivation of cannabis.  
    • The sale or transfer of cannabis to a processor.
    • If the cultivator contracts with a processor to process its cannabis into medical cannabis on the cultivator’s behalf, the sale or transfer of medical cannabis to a dispensary.
  2. A cultivator license authorizes the cultivator to transfer cannabis only by means of a secure transporter. 
  3. The commission shall consult with the Department of Agriculture and Industries when determining the number of cultivator licenses to issue, provided the commission shall issue no more than 12 cultivator licenses.

Processor

  1. A processor license authorizes all of the following: 
    • The purchase or transfer of cannabis from a cultivator.
    • The processing of cannabis into medical cannabis which shall include properly packaging and labeling medical cannabis products, in accordance with this section.
    • The sale or transfer of medical cannabis to a dispensary.
  2. A processor license authorizes the processor to transfer medical cannabis only by means of a secure transporter.
  3. The commission shall issue no more than four processor licenses. 
  4. All medical cannabis products must be medical grade product, manufactured using documented good quality practices, and meet Good Manufacturing Practices, such that the product is shown to meet intended levels of purity and be reliably free of toxins and contaminants. Medical cannabis products may not contain any additives other than pharmaceutical grade excipients.
  5. The Department of Agriculture and Industries shall be responsible for enforcing Good Manufacturing Practices. 
  6. Medical cannabis products may not be processed into a form that is attractive to or targets children, including all of the following which are prohibited: 
    • Any product bearing any resemblance to a cartoon character, fictional character whose target audience is children or youth, or pop culture figure. 
    • Any product bearing a reasonable resemblance to a product available for consumption as a commercially available candy.

Dispensary

  1. A dispensary license authorizes all of the following: 
    • The purchase or transfer of medical cannabis from a processor.
    • If a cultivator contracted with a processor to process its cannabis into medical cannabis on the cultivator’s behalf, the purchase or transfer of medical cannabis from the cultivator. 
    • The purchase or transfer of medical cannabis from an integrated facility. 
    • The dispensing and sale of medical cannabis only to a registered qualified patient or registered caregiver.
  2. A dispensary license authorizes the dispensary to transfer medical cannabis only by means of a secure transporter, including transport between its dispensing sites. 
  3. The commission shall issue no more than four dispensary licenses. 
  4. A dispensary license authorizes the dispensary to transfer medical cannabis to or from a state testing laboratory for testing by means of a secure transporter. 
  5. Each dispensing site must be located at least one thousand feet from any school, day care, or child care facility.

Secure Transporter

  1. A secure transporter license authorizes the licensee to store and transport cannabis and medical cannabis for a fee upon request of a licensee. A license does not authorize transport to a registered qualified patient or registered caregiver.  
  2. A secure transporter shall comply with all of the following:  
    • Each employee who has custody of cannabis or medical cannabis shall not have been convicted of or released from incarceration for a felony under the laws of this state, any other state, or the United States within the past five years or have been convicted of a misdemeanor involving a controlled substance within the past five years.
    • A route plan and manifest shall be entered into the statewide seed-to-sale tracking system, and a copy must be carried in the transporting vehicle and presented to a law enforcement officer upon request.
    • The cannabis or medical cannabis shall be transported in one or more sealed containers and not be accessible while in transit. 
    • A secure transporting vehicle may not bear 13 markings or other indication that it is carrying cannabis or medical cannabis.

State Testing Laboratory

  1. A state testing laboratory license authorizes the licensee to possess and test cannabis and medical cannabis products cultivated or processed at licensed facilities. 
  2. The commission, by rule, shall establish protocols for product testing by a licensed state testing laboratory, which shall be conducted during cultivation, processing, and dispensing to ensure that all dispensed medical cannabis is consistently high grade and maintains a consistency with less than 0.5 percent variability among batches of the same product.
  3. The licensee shall comply with all of the following: 
    • Perform tests to certify that cannabis and medical cannabis is reasonably free of heavy metals, chemical contamination, residual pesticides and growth inhibitors, and residual solvents. 
    • Use validated test methods to determine delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, cannabidiol, and cannabidiolic acid levels.
    • Perform tests that determine whether cannabis and medical cannabis comply with the standards the commission establishes for microbial and mycotoxin contents. 
    • Perform other tests necessary to determine compliance with any other good manufacturing practices as prescribed in rules. 
    • Have a secured laboratory space that cannot be accessed by the general public. 
    • Retain and employ at least one staff member with a relevant advanced degree in a medical or laboratory science.

Integrated Facility

  1. An integrated facility license authorizes all of the following:  
    • The cultivation of cannabis. 
    • The processing of cannabis into medical cannabis, including proper packaging and labeling of medical cannabis products. 
    • The dispensing and sale of medical cannabis only to a registered qualified patient or registered caregiver. 
    • The transport of cannabis or medical cannabis between its facilities. 
    • The sale or transfer of medical cannabis to a dispensary.  
  2. The commission may issue no more than five integrated facility licenses.
  3. An integrated facility licensee shall have the same authorizations granted to, and shall comply with all requirements for, cultivators, processors, secure transporters, and dispensaries, in addition to any other authorizations or requirements under this section or as established by rule by the commission.
  4. A licensee may operate up to five dispensing sites, each of which must be located in a different county from any other dispensing site that the licensee operates; provided, however, the commission may authorize a licensee to operate a greater number of dispensing sites if, at least one year after the date when the maximum number of total dispensing sites authorized under this section and Section 20-2A-64 are operating, the commission determines that the patient pool has reached a sufficient level to justify an additional dispensing site in an underserved or unserved area of the state. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a licensee may not operate any dispensing site in the unincorporated area of county or in a municipality that has not adopted a resolution or ordinance authorizing the operation of dispensing sites under subsection (c) of Section 20-2A-51. This subsection shall not be construed to limit wholesale distribution from integrated facility licensees to dispensary licensees.

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