North Alabama hemp businesses react to new medical marijuana law

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HUNTSVILLE and DECATUR, Ala. – This week, Governor Ivey signed a law legalizing medical marijuana. It will come in the form of tablets, capsules and gummies, and only at the recommendation of a patient’s doctor. As for who supplies the product, that’s yet to be determined. It is also going to be a tight race, as licenses are limited for every step from growing to selling.

“People are not trying to get high, they’re trying to get well,” The Green Lady Dispensary co-owner Linda Jones said.

Medical marijuana is not likely to become an option in the state for more than a year, but businesses interested in getting involved, like The Green Lady, know it will be a long road.

The Green Lady is one dispensary already selling CBD products. They hope to expand with the new law, but it will be tightly regulated.

Only a handful of dispensary licenses will be granted in the state.

Based on the clientele Jones said they see now, they hope they’re able to be one dispensary to snag a license.

“People coming in, they’re in pain, they’ve got anxiety, they’ve got so much going on that pharmaceutical drugs just aren’t cutting it,” Jones said. “We have room for it in our store, we’ve got a room set aside and we’ve been crossing our fingers the whole time.”

No more than 12 cultivator licenses will be granted to grow medical marijuana. BlueWater Hemp in Decatur has been growing hemp for their CBD products since 2019.

They have a new facility and plans to expand. They’re hopeful they can do so as a licensed cultivator for medical cannabis.

“We use indoor growing techniques that are similar to the medical marijuana states, and their medical cannabis techniques. That gives us the best product for the consumer,” BlueWater co-owner Taylor Marks said.

The experience makes Marks confident they would be a good partner to the state for this venture. They would look forward to taking on something new.

“Youre actually growing for your patients and you know what your revenues are going to be before you grow it. Whereas in the hemp market and CBD market there’s a lot of competition out there,” Marks said.

Both business owners say the law is restrictive, but it is one they believe will benefit Alabamians in the long run.

“I think its a great first step for the state,” Marks said.

“It’s baby steps but it’s steps. It’s steps in the right direction,” Jones echoes.

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