Houston County became the third county in Alabama to pass a resolution allowing for the operation of medical cannabis dispensaries within its borders.

The Houston County Commission approved a resolution at their meeting on Monday authorizing the operation of medical cannabis dispensing sites within unincorporated areas of the county.

"We're pretty much mirroring the city of Dothan and others across the state on this," Mark Culver, Houston County Commission chairman, said at the meeting.

According to the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, the Butler and Cullman County Commissions have also approved similar measures in addition to eight cities.

Matt Parker, president of the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, told the commission at their administrative meeting that his organization had been getting calls from "interested parties" about the policies of Dothan and Houston County regarding medical cannabis.

"We've been getting contacted by interested parties that wanted to know the policy position of the county and the city concerning dispensaries which, again, are highly secured areas where only registered patients, caregivers, physicians and workers can provide medical cannabis," Parker said.

Medical cannabis in Alabama will have a sales tax of 9% and an excise tax of 9%.

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission began accepting applications on September 1 from companies seeking a medical marijuana grower, processor, transporter or dispensary license.

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission must first approve dispensaries before they can get a license through municipalities. Any municipality or county must pass its own ordinance that permits dispensaries first.

Medical cannabis in Alabama could be offered in forms such as pills, patches, gels and oils, but by law will not be available in leafy form, edibles or through smoking.

The deadline for applications to be submitted to the state is December 30. The state will issue licenses on July 10, 2023.

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