1 SB46
2 213029-6
3 By Senator Melson
4 RFD: Judiciary
5 First Read: 02-FEB-21
6 PFD: 01/14/2021
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1 SB46
5 Relating to the medical use of cannabis; to add a
6 new Chapter 2A to Title 20, Code of Alabama 1975; to amend
7 Section 13A-7-2, Code of Alabama 1975; to create the Darren
8 Wesley 'Ato' Hall Compassion Act; to provide civil and
9 criminal protections to certain patients with a qualifying
10 medical condition who have a valid medical cannabis card for
11 the medical use of cannabis; to establish the Alabama Medical
12 Cannabis Commission and provide for its membership and duties;
13 to provide for certification of patients to authorize use of
14 medical cannabis; to license and regulate the cultivation,
15 processing, transporting, testing, and dispensing of medical
16 cannabis; to prohibit certain types of medical cannabis
17 products; to provide for patient registry and seed-to-sale
18 tracking; to impose taxes; to provide certain legal
19 protections for users of medical cannabis; to provide certain
20 legal protections for employers; to provide further for
21 workers' compensation benefits in certain circumstances where
22 an employee uses medical cannabis; to amend the crime of
23 trespass in the first degree; to establish the Medical
24 Cannabis Research Consortium to award research grants using
25 tax proceeds; and in connection therewith would have as its
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1 purpose or effect the requirement of a new or increased
2 expenditure of local funds within the meaning of Amendment 621
3 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as
4 Section 111.05 of the Official Recompilation of the
5 Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended.
7 Section 1. Chapter 2A, commencing with Section
8 20-2A-1, is added to Title 20, Code of Alabama 1975, to read
9 as follows:
10 Article 1. General Provisions.
11 20-2A-1.
12 This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the
13 Darren Wesley 'Ato' Hall Compassion Act.
14 20-2A-2.
15 The Legislature finds all of the following:
16 (1) It is not the intent of this chapter to provide
17 for or enable recreational use of marijuana in the State of
18 Alabama.
19 (2) Medical research indicates that the
20 administration of medical cannabis can successfully treat
21 various medical conditions and alleviate the symptoms of
22 various medical conditions.
23 (3) There are residents in Alabama suffering from a
24 number of medical conditions whose symptoms could be
25 alleviated by the administration of medical cannabis products
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1 if used in a controlled setting under the supervision of a
2 physician licensed in this state.
3 (4) A majority of states have adopted a program
4 providing for the administration of cannabis or cannabis
5 derivatives for medical use for residents of their states.
6 (5) Establishing a program providing for the
7 administration of cannabis derivatives for medical use in this
8 state will not only benefit patients by providing relief to
9 pain and other debilitating symptoms, but also provide
10 opportunities for patients with these debilitating conditions
11 to function and have a better quality of life and provide
12 employment and business opportunities for farmers and other
13 residents of this state and revenue to state and local
14 governments.
15 (6) It is important to balance the needs of
16 employers to have a strong functioning workforce with the
17 needs of employees who will genuinely benefit from using
18 cannabis for a medical use in a manner that makes the employee
19 a productive employee.
20 (7) The State of Alabama, therefore, wishes to
21 create a health care market for medical cannabis.
22 Notwithstanding any medical benefit of cannabis or cannabis
23 derivatives, the recreational use of marijuana remains a
24 significant threat to public health and safety. Allowing the
25 cultivation, processing, dispensing, and use of cannabis for
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1 medical use without appropriate safeguards to prevent unlawful
2 diversion for recreational use would pose a risk to public
3 health and safety.
4 (8) The power to regulate intrastate commerce
5 is vested in the several states under the Ninth and Tenth
6 Amendments to the United States Constitution.
7 (9) The Ninth Amendment to the United States
8 Constitution guarantees to the people rights not granted in
9 the United States Constitution and reserves to the people of
10 Alabama certain rights as they were understood at the time
11 Alabama was admitted into statehood in 1819, and the guarantee
12 of these rights is a matter of contract between the State
13 of Alabama and its people and the United States as of the time
14 that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and
15 adopted by Alabama and the United States in 1819.
16 (10) It is the intent of the Legislature to create
17 within Alabama a wholly intrastate system for the cultivation,
18 processing, and distribution of medical cannabis in the
19 interest of protecting its own residents from the danger that
20 recreational cannabis poses.
21 (11) Requiring licensees to prove a history of
22 residency within the state for a period of time is directly
23 related to avoiding an influx of companies engaged in the
24 recreational production of marijuana; the state has a
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1 substantial interest in protecting its residents from the
2 dangers of recreational marijuana.
3 (12) Requiring that licensed cultivators,
4 processors, transporters, and dispensaries of cannabis for
5 medical use possess the requisite skill, expertise, resources,
6 and capital to conduct operations as proposed in their
7 business plans, and favoring those applicants who already
8 possess the requisite skill, expertise, resources, and
9 capital, promotes the goals of stability in licensing and
10 reduces the risks of unlawful diversion and misuse. A lengthy
11 base of agronomic experience will help achieve those goals, as
12 will past experience participating in an agronomic supply
13 chain.
14 (13) Ensuring that all cultivation, processing,
15 transportation, and dispensing operations remain intrastate in
16 nature reduces the risk of exposing licensees to the potential
17 penalties of federal law based on the activities of their
18 licensed operations.
19 (14) There is a pattern in states that have
20 legalized the use of medical cannabis or medical marijuana;
21 frequently, in the years following authorization of medical
22 use, recreational marijuana is subsequently authorized. It is
23 the intent of the Legislature to avoid a shift from medical
24 cannabis usage to recreational marijuana usage. Therefore,
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1 safeguards to adequately protect the residents of this state
2 are essential.
3 20-2A-3.
4 As used in this chapter, the following terms have
5 the following meanings:
6 (1) APPLICANT. The entity or individual seeking a
7 license under Article 4.
8 (1) (2) BOARD. The State Board of Medical Examiners.
9 (2) (3) CANNABIS. a. Except as provided in paragraph
10 b., all parts of any plant of the genus cannabis, whether
11 growing or not, including the seeds, extractions of any kind
12 from any part of the plant, and every compound, derivative,
13 mixture, product, or preparation of the plant.
14 b. The term does not include industrial hemp or hemp
15 regulated under Article 11 of Chapter 8 of Title 2.
16 (3) (4) COMMISSION. The Alabama Medical Cannabis
17 Commission created pursuant to Section 20-2A-20.
18 (4) (5) CULTIVATOR. An entity licensed by the
19 Department of Agriculture and Industries under Section
20 20-2A-62 authorized to grow cannabis pursuant to Article 4.
21 (5) (6) DAILY DOSAGE. The total amount of one or
22 more cannabis derivatives, including, but not limited to,
23 cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol, which may be present in
24 a medical cannabis product that may be ingested by a
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1 registered qualified patient during a 24-hour period, as
2 determined by a registered certifying physician.
3 (6) (7) DEPARTMENT. The Department of Agriculture
4 and Industries.
5 (7) (8) DISPENSARY. An entity licensed by the
6 commission under Section 20-2A-64 authorized to dispense and
7 sell medical cannabis at dispensing sites to registered
8 qualified patients and registered caregivers pursuant to
9 Article 4.
10 (8) (9) DISPENSING SITE. A site operated by an
11 dispensary licensee or an integrated facility licensee
12 pursuant to Article 4.
13 (10) ECONOMIC INTEREST. The rights to either the
14 capital or profit interests of an applicant or licensee or, if
15 the applicant or licensee is a corporation, the rights to some
16 portion of all classes of outstanding stock in the
17 corporation.
19 facility, or land associated with a facility, of a licensee.
20 (10) (12) INTEGRATED FACILITY. An entity licensed
21 under Section 20-2A-67 authorized to perform the functions of
22 a cultivator, processor, secure transporter, and dispensary
23 pursuant to Article 4.
24 (11) (13) LICENSEE. A cultivator, processor, secure
25 transporter, state testing laboratory, dispensary, or
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1 integrated facility licensed by the commission under Article
2 4.
3 (12) (14) MEDICAL CANNABIS. a. A medical grade
4 product in the form of any of the following, as determined by
5 rule by the commission, that contains a derivative of cannabis
6 for medical use by a registered qualified patient pursuant to
7 this chapter:
8 1. Oral tablet, capsule, or tincture.
9 2. Non-sugarcoated gelatinous cube, gelatinous
10 rectangular cuboid, or lozenge in a cube or rectangular cuboid
11 shape.
12 3. Gel, oil, cream, or other topical preparation.
13 4. Suppository.
14 5. Transdermal patch.
15 6. Nebulizer.
16 7. Liquid or oil for administration using an
17 inhaler.
18 b. The term does not include any of the following:
19 1. Raw plant material.
20 2. Any product administered by smoking, combustion,
21 or vaping.
22 3. A food product that has medical cannabis baked,
23 mixed, or otherwise infused into the product, such as cookies
24 or candies.
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1 (13) (15) MEDICAL CANNABIS CARD. A valid card issued
2 pursuant to Section 20-2A-35 or a temporary card issued
3 pursuant to Section 20-2A-36.
5 USE MEDICAL CANNABIS. The acquisition, possession, use,
6 delivery, transfer, or administration of medical cannabis
7 authorized by this chapter. The term does not include
8 possession, use, or administration of cannabis that was not
9 purchased or acquired from a licensed dispensary.
10 (15) (17) PACKAGE. Any container that a processor
11 may use for enclosing and containing medical cannabis. The
12 term does not include any carry-out bag or other similar
13 container.
14 (16) (18) PATIENT REGISTRY. The Alabama Medical
15 Cannabis Patient Registry System that is an electronic
16 integrated system that tracks physician certifications,
17 patient registrations, medical cannabis cards, the daily
18 dosage and type of medical cannabis recommended to qualified
19 patients by registered certifying physicians, and the dates of
20 sale, amounts, and types of medical cannabis that were
21 purchased by registered qualified patients at licensed
22 dispensaries.
23 (17) (19) PHYSICIAN CERTIFICATION. A registered
24 certifying physician's authorization for a registered
25 qualified patient to use medical cannabis.
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1 (18) (20) PROCESSOR. An entity licensed by the
2 commission under Section 20-2A-63 authorized to purchase
3 cannabis from a cultivator and extract derivatives from the
4 cannabis to produce a medical cannabis product or products for
5 sale and transfer in packaged and labeled form to a dispensing
6 site pursuant to Article 4.
8 following conditions or symptoms of conditions, but only after
9 documentation indicates that conventional medical treatment or
10 therapy has failed unless current medical treatment indicates
11 that use of medical cannabis is the standard of care:
12 a. Autism Sprectrum Disorder (ASD).
13 b. Cancer-related cachexia, nausea or vomiting,
14 weight loss, or chronic pain.
15 c. Crohn's Disease.
16 d. Depression.
17 e. Epilepsy or a condition causing seizures.
18 f. HIV/AIDS-related nausea or weight loss.
19 g. Panic disorder.
20 h. Parkinson's disease.
21 i. Persistent nausea that is not significantly
22 responsive to traditional treatment, except for nausea related
23 to pregnancy, cannabis-induced cyclical vomiting syndrome, or
24 cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome.
25 j. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
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1 k. Sickle Cell Anemia.
2 l. Spasticity associated with a motor neuron
3 disease, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
4 m. Spasticity associated with Multiple Sclerosis or
5 a spinal cord injury.
6 n. A terminal illness.
7 o. Tourette's Syndrome.
8 p. A condition causing chronic or intractable pain
9 in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate
10 therapy is contraindicated or has proved ineffective.
11 (20) (22) REGISTERED CAREGIVER. An individual who
12 meets the requirements described in subsection (c) of Section
13 20-2A-30 and is authorized to acquire and possess medical
14 cannabis and to assist one or more registered qualified
15 patients with the use of medical cannabis pursuant to this
16 chapter.
18 physician authorized by the State Board of Medical Examiners
19 to certify patients for the use of medical cannabis under this
20 article.
22 the following:
23 a. An adult who meets the requirements described in
24 subsection (a) of Section 20-2A-30 and is authorized to
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1 acquire, possess, and use medical cannabis pursuant to this
2 chapter.
3 b. A minor who meets the requirements described in
4 subsection (b) of Section 20-2A-30 and is authorized to use
5 medical cannabis pursuant to this chapter with the assistance
6 of a registered caregiver.
7 (23) (25) SECURE TRANSPORTER. An entity licensed by
8 the commission under Section 20-2A-65 authorized to transport
9 cannabis or medical cannabis from one licensed facility or
10 site to another licensed facility or site.
11 (24) (26) STATE TESTING LABORATORY. An entity
12 licensed under Section 20-2A-66 authorized to test cannabis
13 and medical cannabis to ensure the product meets safety
14 qualifications required under this chapter.
16 The tracking system established pursuant to Section 20-2A-54
17 that tracks all cannabis and medical cannabis in the state.
18 (26) (28) UNIVERSAL STATE SYMBOL. The image
19 established by the commission pursuant to Section 20-2A-53
20 made available to processors which indicates the package
21 contains medical cannabis.
22 20-2A-4.
23 This chapter supersedes state criminal and civil
24 laws pertaining to the recommending, acquisition, possession,
25 use, cultivation, manufacturing, processing, research and
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1 development, and sale of medical cannabis. The acquisition,
2 possession, use, cultivation, manufacturing, processing,
3 research and development, transportation, testing, or sale of
4 cannabis or medical cannabis in compliance with this chapter
5 and rules of the commission does not constitute a violation of