The Alabama Senate Children, Youth and Human Services Committee voted to give a favorable report to controversial legislation that would require “women of childbearing age” to show proof that they are not pregnant in order to buy medical marijuana products from Alabama cannabis dispensaries. It would also ban medical marijuana sales to nursing mothers.

Senate Bill 324 (SB324) is sponsored by State Sen. Larry Stutts (R-Sheffield).

According to the synopsis, “This bill would require a dispensary site to require a negative pregnancy test for women of childbearing age before allowing them to purchase medical cannabis and would prohibit breast-feeding women from purchasing medical cannabis unless as a registered caregiver.

“This bill will also require that any dispensary be located one thousand feet from a day-care center, or 2-year or 4-year institution of higher education.”

Cannabis industry advocates oppose the legislation.

Chey Garrigan is the President and Executive Director of the Alabama Cannabis Industry Association.

“This bill is blatantly discriminatory against women and is not science-based,” Garrigan told 1819 News.

“A woman’s health should be between her and her doctor and the state of Alabama should not place itself in the role of being the citizens’ nanny,” Garrigan said.

“Where is the science in this?” Garrigan asked. “Fetal alcohol syndrome is the leading cause of birth defects and the state of Alabama is the largest seller of alcohol in the state. Why are they not requiring a pregnancy test every time a woman goes into one of their ABC Stores?

“We need government to take a smaller role in our lives, not for the male dominated legislature to place more burdens on the citizens. Passing SB324 would be a regressive step that is not where this nation is headed.”

There is more on this bill in an article in Marijuana Moment

Alabama passed landmark legislation in 2021 creating a legal pathway for Alabamians with a demonstrated medical need to obtain medical cannabis products grown, processed, and marketed in Alabama. Stutts opposed that legislation, SB46. The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission has been tasked with licensing the growers, dispensaries, transporters, and processes of the Alabama medical cannabis products, training the doctors, and with regulating the industry. Those licenses are expected to be awarded in September and the first medical marijuana products sold later this year.

Tuesday will be Day 27 of the 2022 Alabama Regular Legislative Session. There are, at most, four days left in the regular session. Despite the favorable report from the committee on Thursday, SB324 faces a difficult path forward in the legislative process. The House would then have at most three legislative days to pass it. Friday would be Day 30 of the session and by law the last day of the regular session, since the 1901 Constitution limits the legislature to just thirty legislative days. The legislature is not required to use all thirty days.

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