Alabama Bill to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana Dies in Committee

alabama state house

MONTGOMERY, AL — A bill that sought to legalize and regulate the adult use of marijuana in Alabama has been killed by a committee in the House.

House Bill 550  was tabled by the House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security and will not be voted on, or even receive a hearing, this year.

House Bill 550, the Alabama Cannabis and Hemp Reform Act of 2013,  was introduced in April by Birmingham Democrat Rep. Patricia Todd, who has unsuccessfully lobbied her colleagues at the Alabama state house to legalize medical marijuana, including two medical marijuana bills introduced this year.

The bill would have also authorized the medical use of marijuana in Alabama and the cultivation of industrial hemp.

Rep. Todd is expected to re-introduce the legislation next year.If passed, House Bill 550 would have:

  • Allowed adults 21 or older to use or possess up to one ounce of marijuana
  • Allowedadults 21 or older to grow up to twelve mature cannabis plants in an enclosed, locked space
  • Allowedadults 21 or older to share, but not sell, marijuana among other adults 21 or older
  • Authorized the Department of Revenue to regulate the cultivation, processing, packaging, testing, transportation, display, and sale of marijuana and marijuana accessories
  • Prohibited the sale of marijuana except by licensed, regulated cannabis retail stores
  • Set product labeling regulations and advertising restrictions for marijuana and marijuana related businesses
  • Authorized the medical use of marijuana by certain qualifying patients who have been diagnosed by a physician as having a serious medical condition.
  • Allowedthe cultivation of industrial hemp by Alabama farmers
  • Imposed penalties for supplying marijuana to minors under 21 years of age, except those with medical marijuana authorizations
  • Allowed local communities to ban marijuana retail outlets, but only if approved by voters on an even-numbered election year ballot.

Alabama currently has some of the harshest marijuana penalties in the country. Possession of  any amount of marijuana – even a single joint — is punishable by up to a year of incarceration and a $6,000 fine.