To meet federal legal criteria, CBD oil must contain no more than 0.3 percent THC. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
While CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are now broadly legal and available for sale and purchase in Alabama, the ADAI still regulates and licenses industrial hemp growers and processors under the 2014 Farm Bill’s rules. They will continue to operate under the pilot program until the FDA finalizes industrial hemp regulations and reviews and approves the rules submitted by the ADAI.
There are no possession limits on CBD products in Alabama, as long as the product contains no more than 0.3% THC.
Alabama CBD possession limits
At the ADAI commissioner’s discretion, the department requires regular sample lab testing to confirm that the crop or processed hemp product contains less than 0.3% THC. The grower or processor is responsible for the lab testing fee, which is approximately $200 per sample. There are no requirements for labeling or posting test results for participants in the pilot program.
Hemp production and sale, including its cannabinoids and CBD specifically, remain tightly regulated federally. The Farm Bill provides that individual states may also regulate and even prohibit CBD cultivation and commerce. States may attempt to regulate CBD in food, beverage, dietary supplements, and cosmetic products independently of the FDA’s rules.
Consumers may also purchase CBD products online, typically directly through a specific brand’s website. Many online checkout processes work for CBD companies based in the United States, but some online processors consider CBD as a “restricted business,” so not all payment methods may be available.
Growers also are subject to existing Alabama code regarding possession, cultivation, sale, or use of cannabis above the legal THC limits. The cultivation or manufacturing of cannabis can result in a sentence of two years to life and a fine of up to a $60,000, depending on the degree of manufacture.
Contact your lawmakers and ask them to make marijuana decriminalization a priority. Let them know it’s past time to end these draconian penalties and to free up law enforcement resources to focus on serious crime.
We’ve provided a summary of the bill, Sen. Tim Melson’s Compassion Act — SB 46, here. While it is far better than the status quo, there are a number of provisions that are unnecessarily burdensome on patients. It steers pain patients to try opioids first, and it requires doctors to jump through hoops — including a four-hour course and a fee of up to $300 — that will depress participation. It also prohibits smoking, vaporization, and whole-plant cannabis, which drives up prices and denies some patients the treatment option that works best for them.
Personal use possession of marijuana — even the smallest amount — is now a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $6,000.
Decriminalization bill falls short
On March 3, 2021, the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Sen. Bobby Singleton’s (D) decriminalization bill — SB 149 — in a 6-3 vote. Unfortunately, the bill was indefinitely postponed and will not receive a vote. SB 149 would have reduced the penalty for possession of less than two ounces of cannabis to a violation carrying a $250 fine. It would also make possession of larger amounts a fine-only offense.
The Alabama Legislature overwhelmingly approved — and Gov. Kay Ivey signed — a medical cannabis bill! This makes Alabama the 36th state with a full medical cannabis law.
Alabama is one of only 19 states that still jails its residents for simple possession of marijuana.
On February 24, 2021, the Senate passed the bill in a 20-10 vote. The House followed suit on May 6 in a 68-34 vote, and the Senate swiftly concurred with the House’s changes to the details. On May 17, 2021, Gov. Ivey signed the bill into law.