Gov. Robert Bentley in 2014 signed Carly’s Law, which 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.
Recreational cannabis is illegal in Alabama, but CBD oil is allowed for specific medical conditions. First-time possession of personal amounts is a misdemeanor, while repeated possession or possession with intent to sell is treated as a felony.
Efforts to get broader medical access in Alabama have so far failed. 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 failed to reach the Senate floor for a vote. For now, an affirmative defense can be used for those with a debilitating epileptic condition who have used or possessed CBD with a prescription authorized by the University of Alabama (UAB) Department of Neurology.
to Be to Consume?
Where is it Safe to Purchase?
The only way to legally obtain CBD is through a prescription by a board-certified neurologist through the authority of the UAB Department of Neurology. Patients diagnosed with debilitating epileptic ailments by a certified neurologist may discuss using CBD oil as a treatment in the municipalities of:
- Dauphin Island
- Fort Payne
- Gulf Shores
- Mountain Brook
- Orange Beach
- Phenix City
- Vestavia Hills
Where is it Safe to Consume?
Consumption of approved cannabis products should take place in the patient’s private residence.
Possession & 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, such as distribution, may face a felony with up to 10 years in prison or a $15,000 maximum fine.
Medical Marijuana Program
CBD oil is available to medical marijuana patients for a limited range of conditions and must be prescribed by a doctor with whom the patient has had a longstanding relationship.
- Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
- Severe or chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms
- Any other condition that is both severe and resistant to conventional medicine as diagnosed and documented by a doctor with whom the patient has a bona fide doctor-patient relationship
Those who wish to take part in Alabama’s CBD oil program must contact the UAB Department of Neurology and have the following information available:
- A Cover Letter Checklist
- A referral letter from their treating neurologist that includes documentation of a qualifying condition
- Proof of Alabama residency
The UAB CBD Program Manager can be reached by calling (205) 975-8883. UAB also offers detailed instructions for completing a program application.
This page was last updated December 7, 2018