Steve Marshall, Alabama’s Attorney General has revised a public notice on the legality of cannabidiol (CBD) products in the state, in accordance to a provision in the Farm Bill which has just been passed in Congress.
The updated public notice followed a revision in November 2018, which clarified the exceptions to previous CBD prohibition in Alabama carved out by Carly’s Law and Leni’s Law.
President Donald Trump has not signed the Farm Bill yet, which is officially known as the Agricultural Improvement Act, but he is fully expected to do so.
The decision to legalize industrial hemp, which contains less than 0.3 percent delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) across the nation, is excellent news for Alabamans, who are now free to purchase, possess and sell hemp-based CBD products.
Industrial hemp is an unusual strain of cannabis sativa, which is used regularly to make CBD products. Hemp is a good plant to use for CBD oils and vape juices because it naturally produces a very low amount of THC. The CBD-rich cannabinoid profile of hemp means it has no recreational use, and cannot cause any psychoactive effects. Politicians, especially in conservative states, have been hesitant about enacting cannabis legislation because of the perceived dangers with mind-altering substances.
CBD is non-psychoactive, and is therefore considered differently to THC and the full cannabis plant. Scientific research on the benefits of CBD is still somewhat limited, but the substance holds plenty of therapeutic potential. The cannabinoid works in the body’s complex endocannabinoid system, helping to promote chemical equilibrium.
About the Farm Bill
The Farm Bill was key to kickstarting the hemp-based CBD industry in the United States in 2014. The 2018 bill goes a step further. The legalization of hemp is good news for American farmers, who now have a lucrative new crop to cultivate. It’s also very promising for the development of CBD research, as scientists may find it much easier to access medical-grade hemp for studies.
Hemp legalization may also open the door for more regulation in the hemp CBD industry. Up to now, customers have been reliant on CBD manufacturers being transparent and having their products tested.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has taken a relaxed attitude toward CBD in recent times, with much higher priorities, such as the opioid crisis.
However, it will be up for the state departments of agriculture to decide the hemp policy in their own jurisdictions. So far, there is no indication that Alabaman farmers will be able to grow industrial hemp.
The history of CBD in Alabama
Alabama has been one of the most cautious states in America when it comes to medical cannabis and CBD, and despite a steady flow of research programs, citizens have not, until now, been able to get hold of CBD products for personal use. This allows them to remedy medical conditions themselves.
The first Alabama CBD oil bill of significance was Carly’s Law, which was signed by Governor Robert Bentley back in 2014. This allowed a study investigating the potential of non-psychoactive CBD oil to treat epileptic studies to be legally conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. A handful of patients were accepted onto the trial and therefore benefitted from Carly’s Law. The UAB study has produced some positive findings, in line with the vast majority of CBD research on intractable epilepsy.
The next progressive step came with Leni’s Law, which was signed into law, again by Governor Bentley, in 2016. This bill permitted CBD-based cannabis oil with up to 3 percent THC to be prescribed to eligible patients.
However, the closed-door approach to CBD and medical cannabis with Carly and Leni’s Law in Alabama did not help the wider population. This means that the new Alabama CBD law, which has come thanks to the Farm Bill, carries extra importance.
The pharmaceutical-grade CBD oil Epidiolex, which is manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals, was authorized for medicinal use by the Alabama Department of Public Health in October 2018. This followed the oil’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
So, is CBD legal in Alabama?
It’s complicated! CBD oil in Alabama that is made using hemp extracts are legal, however CBD products made from the marijuana plant remain prohibited. The new Alabama CBD oil law only concerns hemp. CBD products have still not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
CBD and the wider issue of medical marijuana is still a work in progress in Alabama, particularly in comparison to other US states, many of which have adopted liberal marijuana laws. But crucially, the Yellowhammer State is moving in the right direction. With hemp-derived CBD oil legal in Alabama now for all citizens, those in need of pain relief, a natural anxiety treatment, an alternative sleeping aid and more, will now be able to get it.
It’s also a great opportunity for Alabama entrepreneurs who want to cash in on the CBD boom. They are now legally able to make wholesale purchases online, This helps to significantly reduce costs when buying hemp oil stock.