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Although the legislature voted to make so-called medical cannabis available in May 2021, Alabamians will still have to wait a bit until cannabis products are available for legal use.

On the heels of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission meeting last week, commission director John McMillan told Alabama Public Television's "Capitol Journal" there was still work to be done before it was go-time.

According to McMillan, the best-case scenario under the current circumstances would be late 2023.

"If everything goes well, we should be able to start issuing licenses, the full license actually saying, 'You have a license, go get it done,' but there are things like the companies that do have licenses, they're going to have to go out and hire contractors, build facilities, what's going to happen with this supply chain business that is such an issue right now -- all of those things," McMillan said. "But best case, probably late '23 before there will be products available, which will be sold only through dispensaries, and that's another license category. So, there's a lot to do. A lot of inspections, a lot of oversight from every area.

"The commission is good. The Board of Medical Examiners and the Alabama Medical Association, which is responsible for the doctors' certification and education, has gone great. The Department of Agriculture and Industries is over the cultivating side of it. That's gone great. Revenue is on the tax collection. ALEA is on the law enforcement and security. So, all of these state agencies -- I think there's a point that needs to be made is this is a brand-new agency, and I think all of these agencies in state government that are working with us so well, I might add, are happy in having a role to help create something that is going to be worthwhile, safe, secure and beneficial to the patients in this state who need the cannabis medication."

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.

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