MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Senate Bill 46, or The Compassion Act, has been circulating the state capitol for three years now. The medical marijuana bill passed in the senate each year however, it’s never passed the house.
SB 46 would allow qualifying Alabamians, qualified meaning diagnosed with certain medical conditions, to register for and obtain a medical marijuana card. The bill, sponsored by Senator Tim Melson, would also establish the Medical Cannabis Commission which would monitor the plant from seed to sale.
Shortly before 4 p.m. Wednesday, the Alabama House Judiciary Committee approved the bill on a voice vote, but not without some proposed changes.
Seventeen amendments were expected and the committee heard about 15 of them total. Many of the changes were proposed by Rep. Ben Robbins of Talladega County.
Amendments ranged from eliminating out-of-state cannabis licenses to ensure an intrastate system to allowing state health officer Dr. Scott Harris to appoint a member to the cannabis commission the bill would create.
The bill still has to go before the House Health Committee before it heads to the house floor for a vote.
There are currently 36 states that support medical cannabis, including Florida and Mississippi.