Understanding the medical marijuana laws in Alabama is critical to navigating the new legislation. Whether you are an individual seeking to obtain a medical cannabis card or an employer looking to comply with the law, there are several things you should know about the new law.

Governor Ivey signed the Darren Wesley Hall “Ato” Compassion Act into law on May 17. It authorizes doctors to prescribe medical marijuana for 16 qualifying conditions, including cancer-related nausea or vomiting; Crohn’s disease; epilepsy; HIV/AIDS-related nausea or weight loss; migraines; pain; and anxiety.

Doctor’s Recommendation

To obtain a medical marijuana card in Alabama, patients must first get a recommendation from a doctor. The physician must verify that you have a qualifying condition and that conventional therapy has failed to provide relief.

The doctor must also certify that you are 19 or older. Once you have a doctor’s recommendation, you can register with the Alabama Cannabis Commission and apply for a medical card.

A doctor’s certification must include written attestations that the patient has a qualifying condition, that they have tried a traditional treatment and that the medical cannabis recommendation is for the patient’s benefit. It must also include written attestations that the physician has an established relationship with the patient and followed all state requirements.

In addition, the doctor must also certify that they have a valid license from the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners. The physician must also complete four four-hour courses on medical cannabis and pay a $300 fee.

In addition to doctors, caregivers are allowed in Alabama and can assist patients under 19. Caregivers must be 21 years of age or older and must be legal guardians or care providers for registered minors. However, the state still needs to enact rules on how many caregivers can be authorized.


In Alabama, patients legally using medical marijuana must designate a caregiver. These caregivers are required to be at least 18 years old and not have any previous convictions for offenses involving controlled substances.

Once the patient’s doctor certifies that they require a caregiver, the designated caregiver must complete the application process and comply with medical marijuana laws in Alabama to become an Alabama medical marijuana caregiver. This involves submitting their personal information, government ID, and a recent digital color photograph.

The caregiver must also attest that they agree to comply with the law and act by their patient’s physician’s recommendation and instructions. The attestation can be a letter or email but must contain a signature from the patient’s doctor.

After being verified by the Medical Marijuana Registry, caregivers can purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries. They can only buy up to 60 supplies of a single product at once, but they can purchase additional doses if they revisit the dispensary within a reasonable time.

Caregivers should know that, in addition to the fees they will be responsible for paying, many tax benefits are available to help them cope with their caregiving expenses. These benefits include the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, which provides a dollar-for-dollar reduction on income taxes that a caregiver receives for care-related costs.


Cannabis is a flowering plant for many purposes, including food, clothing, rope, birdseed and medicine. Although the herb has been widely used for centuries, it was only in the early 20th century that marijuana became widely cultivated for recreational use.

In Alabama, the Darren Wesley ‘Ato’ Hall Compassion Act, passed in May 2021, allowed for medical marijuana to be cultivated by licensed growers and dispensaries. This legislation authorizes patients to possess a maximum of 70 daily doses of the drug. It requires that physicians certify that a patient has a condition for which medical marijuana is appropriate.

The law also sets up a process through which applicants will compete for a limited number of licenses in the categories of cultivators, processors and dispensaries. Moreover, Alabama will also issue a to-be-determined number of Secure Transporter and Testing Laboratory licenses.

Cultivators can apply for an Alabama cultivator license that allows them to grow, package and label marijuana products, such as oral tablets or tinctures; gelatinous cubes; lozenges; gels, oils, creams or other topical forms; transdermal patches; liquid or oil inhalers; or suppositories. Additionally, cultivators must obtain a Secure Transporter License to transport the cannabis from their facility to any other place, including the processor, dispensary and testing laboratories.

To be eligible for an Alabama cultivator license, cultivators must submit a $2500 non-refundable application fee and pay a $40,000 annual licensing fee. A cultivator must also comply with other requirements set out by the Medical Cannabis Commission, such as providing an annual report to the Commission and meeting specific minimum security standards.


Patients who qualify for medical marijuana will need to visit a licensed dispensary. Only dispensaries that are approved to sell medical marijuana can operate in Alabama. These stores can only locate in municipalities that have passed ordinances authorizing their operations.

Under the new medical cannabis laws, Alabama residents can access various types of medicinal marijuana. These include capsules, tablets, oils, suppositories and topical patches.

To get a medical card for cannabis, patients must go through the process of registering as patients and receiving a recommendation from a doctor. This is an online process that involves providing proof of residency and a government-issued photo ID.

The state’s new medical marijuana law includes a broad list of qualifying health conditions so more patients can access therapeutic cannabis. It also allows doctors to refer their patients for medicinal cannabis if they’ve tried other pain management methods without success.

Once you’ve received a physician’s recommendation for medical cannabis, the next step is to register as a patient with the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission. The Commission will create a database that electronically tracks doctor certifications, patient names, daily dosage recommendations and medical marijuana cards.

Businesses in Alabama that want to participate in the nascent medical marijuana industry must obtain a cultivator, processor, secure transporter or testing laboratory license. These licenses allow businesses to grow, process and sell medical marijuana. The license application process is highly competitive and requires experienced legal counsel. The McGlinchey Stafford team of attorneys is ready to assist clients with their applications and help them succeed.

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