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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Governor Kay Ivey signed the medical marijuana bill into law on Monday.

“Signing SB 46 is an important first step. I would like to again thank Sen. Tim Melson and Rep. Mike Ball for their hard work over the last few years and their willingness to address the legitimate concerns,” said Ivey in a written statement. “This is certainly a sensitive and emotional issue and something that is continually being studied.”

She went on to say, “On the state level, we have had a study group that has looked closely at this issue, and I am interested in the potential good medical cannabis can have for those with chronic illnesses or what it can do to improve the quality of life of those in their final days. As research evolves, Sen. Melson and I discussed how critical it is to continue finding ways to work on this to ensure we have a productive, safe and responsible operation in Alabama.”

Ivey met with Sen. Tim Melson, who was the sponsor of the bill, to sign it into law.

The bill was approved despite initially facing strong opposition from a group of house members who filibustered it.

This law creates a statewide regulatory system for medical cannabis, from cultivation to sale. Doctors will be able to prescribe it for cancer, HIV and AIDS related conditions including chronic pain, nausea and weight loss. Other treatable ailments include PTSD, depression and epilepsy along with others listed in the bill.

Rep. Mike Ball reported to us about a week ago that it would take about 18 months before anyone could get a medical marijuana card.

Alabama is the 37th state to legalize medical marijuana.