Alabama

Is weed legal in Alabama?

The short answer is no. With the exception of some CBD products, marijuana is illegal in Alabama. 

Legislation history

In 2014 Gov. Robert Bentley signed an amendment to the state's criminal code that became known as Carly's Law. It enabled the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to provide non-psychoactive CBD oil to children with seizures as part of a clinical study for up to five years

On July 1, 2016, Leni's Law was passed to amend Carly's Law, permanently allowing the possession and use of CBD oil by those suffering from a debilitating medical condition as diagnosed by a physician with whom the patient has a bonafide doctor-patient relationship. In July 2019, Governor Kay Ivey signed SB 225, which redefined and rescheduled CBD to align with federal definitions in the 2018 Farm Bill and allowed Alabama pharmacies to sell CBD products. 

Democratic state Sen. Bobby Singleton in 2015 proposed the Medical Marijuana Patient Safe Access Act, which would have enabled patients with 25 severe medical conditions to access medical cannabis. The bill never reached the Senate floor for a vote.

Recreational cannabis is illegal in Alabama. First-time possession of personal amounts of marijuana is a misdemeanor, while repeated possession or possession with intent to sell is a felony. 

Alabama seemed poised to legalize medical marijuana in early 2020 when life in America ground to a halt amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Senate passed SB 165, the Compassion Act, by a solid margin but the House, which seemed to support the bill, never got a chance to vote as the legislature adjourned early. The state doesn't allow for citizen initiatives, so legislative action is the only route for reform.

Where is it safe to purchase weed in Alabama?

There are no regulations for sales of CBD products that fall below the 0.3% THC threshold. Businesses or individuals that sell any cannabis product containing more than the legal amount of THC can be charged with a felony, face a sentence of two to 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $30,000. Sales of cannabis to a minor can be punishable by a 10 years-to-life sentence and a maximum $60,000 fine.

Alabama consumers can purchase CBD products both in-person and online. Typically, CBD products are sold at CBD-specific shops and wellness and health food stores. In Alabama, pharmacies can sell CBD products over the counter, as long as they are sourced from legal producers and contain no more than 0.3% THC.  

Consumers may also purchase CBD products online, typically directly through a specific brand's website. Many online checkout processes work for CBD companies based in the United States, but some online processors consider CBD a “restricted business,” so not all payment methods may be available.

Where is it safe to consume cannabis?

Consumption of CBD is legal anywhere. Consumption of marijuana with more than 0.3% THC is illegal everywhere in Alabama.  

Possession and cultivation limits

Cultivation is illegal in Alabama. An individual cultivating a marijuana plant at home for personal use can be charged with trafficking cannabis, which is considered a felony. Possessing any amount of processed cannabis is considered a misdemeanor with up to one (1) year in prison or a $6,000 fine. Those suspected of possessing marijuana for any purpose other than personal use may face a felony with up to 10 years in prison or a $15,000 maximum fine. Decriminalization was set to be taken up in the Senate before the coronavirus shut-down in 2020.

Medical marijuana program

Alabama does not have a medical marijuana program.

Lab testing

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries requires seed and crop testing to confirm that the CBD product contains less than 0.3% THC. It also requires processors to test for pesticides in accordance with existing agricultural pesticide laws. There are no requirements for posting test results on labels or in stores. But retailers are required to keep the test results for each product and provide those to customers who ask.

Frequently asked questions

How much pot is a felony in Alabama?

Alabama's criminal code says possession of any amount of marijuana is a Class D felony, but you should consult an attorney for specific legal questions.   

Is medical CBD oil legal in Alabama?

CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC is legal in Alabama. 

Is Alabama recreational?

There are lots of lakes and mountains so recreation opportunities abound. Cannabis, however, is illegal in Alabama except in the form of CBD oil derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC. 

When will marijuana be legal in Alabama?

While we can't predict the future, we do know that Alabamians can't petition to get an medical marijuana initiative added to the ballot. Any path to legalize marijuana would have to go through the state legislature. 

What are Alabama laws about marijuana possession?

Alabama's criminal code says possession of any amount of marijuana is a Class D felony, but you should consult an attorney for specific legal questions.  

What are the Alabama laws on cultivating marijuana?

All forms of marijuana, including plants, are illegal in Alabama. 

This page was last updated January 4, 2021. 

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The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical or legal advice. This page was last updated on January 29, 2021.