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Appointments made to Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission

Twelve of the 14 members of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission have been announced.


Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Monday announced her appointments to the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission.

Ivey appointed Dr. William Saliski Jr., a pulmonologist; Sam Blakemore, representing the pharmacists; and Dwight Gamble, representing ag lenders.

Senate Pro Tem Greg Reed, R-Jasper, on Tuesday appointed Dr. Steve Stokes, an oncologist, and Taylor Hatchett of Boozer Farms.

On Wednesday, Mike Cason with the Alabama Media Group reported that Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth had appointed Dr. Angela Martin, a pediatrician; Dr. Eric Jensen, a biochemist; and Loree Skelton, a healthcare attorney.

Cason reported that Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, had appointed Rex Vaughn, a farmer, and retired circuit judge Charles Price.

Alabama Agriculture and Industries Commissioner Rick Pate appointed James Harwell, the president of Green Thumb Nursery in Montgomery.

Attorney General Steve Marshall has appointed AG Chief Counsel Katherine Green Robertson.

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State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Hal Taylor also each have an appointment.

“We look forward to working with the new members of the Commission,” said Alabama Cannabis Industry Association President and CEO Chey Garrigan. “The Alabama Cannabis Industry Association mission is to help Alabamians find natural non-opioid treatments for their medical ailments and are optimistic about the outlook of this commission.”

All of the appointees must still be confirmed by the Alabama Senate.

The commission has been tasked with writing the rules for the new Alabama medical marijuana industry by September.

Once the rules are written, the commission will then begin accepting applications for businesses to grow, process, transport, and dispense medical marijuana.

There will be no smokable products sold in the state and all Alabamians who receive a medical marijuana card will have to be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition by a doctor. Out-of-state medical marijuana cards will not be accepted in the state.

“Our goal has always been to get help for people in Alabama with a demonstrated medical need,” Garrigan stated. “This will relieve the suffering for hundreds of thousands of Alabamians, while being the bases for a new industry in the state.”

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It will be the middle of next year at the earliest before any product is lawfully dispensed.

The Alabama Legislature passed medical marijuana legislature during the 2021 Legislative Session. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, and carried in the Alabama House of Representatives by state Rep. Mike Ball, R-Madison.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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