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Medical Cannabis Commission opts against extending deadline

Commissioner John McMillan said the commission would prefer to have more time but did not want to risk “opening the bill up” to lawmakers.

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The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission is still on track to have products available by Sept. 1, despite Commissioner John McMillan suggesting earlier this year that they might ask the Legislature to extend the deadline.

“We’re well along with coming up with drafts for rules and regulations and the licensing process and so forth,” McMillan said. “We hope that we’ll have our rules and regulations draft to present to commission in June or July.”

McMillan said the commission would prefer not to have the deadlines “kind of artificially put into the legislation,” but chose not to open the law up to tinkering from lawmakers.

“There are people out there pushing, looking for a wedge issue against the whole program,” McMillan said. “We knew particularly with it being an election year it was not time to open the whole thing up … We’ve got people out there trying to make this an issue in elections totally misrepresenting things.”

McMillan pointed specifically to legislation hat was brought forward in session this year that would have required any woman of childbearing age to test negative for pregnancy before getting a prescription. The bill stalled without passing either chamber.

Any mistakes made are better left for the commissions in place, McMillan said, noting that any changes that are made at the legislative level can take years to fix.

“If a commission or board makes a mistake, they can come back and immediately fix it,” McMillan said.

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The next meeting of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission is May 12. 

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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