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Lawmakers approve medical marijuana study commission

By KIM CHANDLERJune 1, 2019
This Sept. 11, 2018, file photo shows a budding marijuana flower at SLOgrown Genetics in San Luis Obispo, California. Alabama lawmakers voted Friday to create a medical marijuana commission that will make recommendations for a bill they might consider in the 2020 legislative session. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
This Sept. 11, 2018, file photo shows a budding marijuana flower at SLOgrown Genetics in San Luis Obispo, California. Alabama lawmakers voted Friday to create a medical marijuana commission that will make recommendations for a bill they might consider in the 2020 legislative session. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers voted Friday 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 medical marijuana proposal hit opposition in the House of Representatives. The study commission bill now goes to Gov. Kay Ivey.

Republican Sen. Tim Melson of Florence said he wanted to see lawmakers approve a medical marijuana bill this session. But he said the study commission would be a step forward toward the goal of allowing ailing patients to access medical marijuana.

Melson’s original bill would have allowed patients with certain medical conditions to purchase medical marijuana 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 approved study commission bill also extends Carly’s Law, a law that allows some patients to access CBD oil through a study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The law was set to expire in July. The legislation extends that to 2020. CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, does not cause a high and is often sold as a dietary supplement or included in creams and other personal care products.

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