Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has officially made medical marijuana legal in the state.
On Monday, Ivey signed the bill into law after the Legislature approved it last week. This ruling makes it legal for registered patients to access and use medical weed safely with qualifying health conditions. The move makes Alabama the 37th state in the U.S. to legalize medical cannabis.
Several qualifying medical conditions include chronic pain, cancer, depression, HIV/AIDS-related nausea, PTSD, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and several others.
“This is certainly a sensitive and emotional issue and something that is continually being studied,” Ivey said in her statement after signing Senate Bill 46 into law. The Republican governor added that she was interested in seeing the potential good that medical pot can do for those suffering from chronic illnesses.
Director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project, Karen O’Keefe, praised this “major step.”
“Rather than being subjected to arrest and criminal penalties for using medical cannabis, this new law will enable patients who are suffering from illnesses and medical conditions to safely use and access medical cannabis.”
To legally access medical marijuana, patients must apply for and obtain a medical cannabis card. They must also have a physician’s certification. A $65 fee may apply.