The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee voted Feb. 19 to pass legislation that would legalize and regulate medical cannabis in the state, according to an AL.com report.
The 8-1 vote advances the bill to a full Senate vote, the news outlet reported.
Sen. Tim Melson introduced Senate Bill 165, titled “The Compassion Act,” based on recommendations from the Alabama Medical Cannabis Study Commission, a commission tasked with developing legislation and regulations for a medical cannabis market in the state.
The commission was created last year after another medical cannabis legalization proposal from Melson was transformed into a bill to establish the work group to study the issue.
S.B.165 outlines the process for patients to enroll in a medical cannabis program and establishes a commission to oversee the patient registry and business licensing process. The bill also decriminalizes cannabis possession for qualified patients and allow physicians to recommend cannabis for 15 qualifying conditions.
The Senate could vote on the legislation as early as next week, according to AL.com.