On May 17th, 2021 – Alabama Republican Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill into law that legalizes medical marijuana in the state. This is yet another monumental victory for the nationwide movement to end the stigma associated with cannabis while providing natural self-care options to those people that are really in need.
At PufCreativ, we fully believe in the power of the cannabis plant to be a positive gamechanger in the daily lives of humans, while also being a vehicle that pushes social change further into the 21st century — into a new era where unjust cannabis incarceration is eliminated and the records of the disadvantaged are expunged.
So, why are we so excited for cannabis marketing in Alabama? Read on as we discuss the history of cannabis policy in the state, the current form of Alabama’s medical marijuana program, and why you should choose PufCreativ for all your marketing needs.
The History: Alabama’s Harsh Cannabis Laws
As is common in southern states, the harsh cannabis laws that have been in place for far too long have wreaked havoc on minority communities, setting up a pattern of abuse that continues through generations. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, in Alabama, “Black people were approximately four times as likely as white people to be arrested for marijuana possession (both misdemeanors and felonies) in 2016 – and five times as likely to be arrested for felony possession.”
Furthermore, unfortunately the negative consequences are much more than the harshness of the laws themselves. These laws also provide law enforcement with a great deal of power and discretion, making for an inherently unequal justice system in the state:
Alabama’s laws are not only overly harsh, they also place enormous discretion in the hands of law enforcement, creating an uneven system of justice and leaving plenty of room for abuse. This year in Etowah County, for example, law enforcement officials charged a man with drug trafficking after adding the total weight of marijuana-infused butter to the few grams of marijuana he possessed, so they could reach the 2.2-pound threshold for a trafficking charge.
Non-isolated incidents like the above-mentioned clear abuse of power at the hands of law enforcement are unacceptable and unjustifiable, and so one of the main reasons we’re excited about Alabama’s medical marijuana program is that it is a step in the right direction regarding civil rights in the state.
Alabama’s New Medical Cannabis Guidelines
As is the case with every individual state that has legalized (or is working to legalize) recreational or medical cannabis, the specific guidelines will vary. And, while there are some clear blueprints in pioneering legal cannabis states such as California and Colorado, it is becoming clear that each new state will be offering their own interpretation of what it means to have “legal cannabis” – for better or for worse.
Here are some important particulars of Alabama’s newly signed law, according to NPR:
- The law legalizes medical marijuana for adults and minors with certain conditions under a doctor’s recommendation, including: Autism spectrum disorder, Panic disorder, Depression, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Crohn’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, Sickle cell anemia, Epilepsy or a condition causing seizures, Terminal Illness & more.
- Not covered: Chronic Back Pain, Endometriosis, Eating Disorders.
- In most cases, the daily dosage can’t exceed 50 milligrams of THC (the compound that gets you high). The daily dosage can later be bumped up to 75 milligrams if the doctor determines it’s “medically appropriate” or if a patient is diagnosed as terminally ill. If the dosage exceeds 75 milligrams, the patient’s driver’s license will be suspended.
- Forms of medical marjiana allowed: Oral tablet, capsule or tincture, Non-sugarcoated gelatinous cube, cuboid or lozenge, gel, oil, cream or other topical preparation, Transdermal patch, Nebulizer, Liquid or oil only for an inhaler, Suppository.
- The drug cannot be smoked, vaped, covered in sugar, put into food or sold as a raw plant. The state cannabis commission will also establish “one universal flavor” for the jelly cubes and lozenges.
- The state cannabis commission has until Sept. 1, 2022, to create a system that allows people to apply for licenses to produce, transport and sell the drug. The commission will also be tasked with establishing standards like how the drug should be packaged and labeled; chain of custody requirements; and how the drug can be advertised and marketed by dispensaries.
As it stands, the above-mentioned specifics of Alabama’s medical marijuana program leave a lot to be desired when it comes to inclusivity, allowed dosage, and general accessibility. However, the good news is that now the door is open, and we’re excitedly hoping that by looking at all the available data legislators will seek to make improvements in the law — for the good of the people.
Choosing PufCreativ for Your Cannabis Marketing Needs
Simply put, choosing trusted brands and partners is the key to successfully navigating the murky waters of the legal cannabis industry. At PufCreativ, we understand that the prospect of marketing your new cannabis brand seems confusing and difficult, and that’s why we’re here to help guide you along your journey to becoming a respected, trusted, and valued member of the legal cannabis community.
Considering Alabama’s harsh cannabis history, and because it is a newly-legal state, it’s important to take appropriate steps when incorporating and setting up your brand within the local community. We love helping brands to strategically enter communities by marketing themselves properly and incorporating CSR into their marketing and business plans. We proudly work with our esteemed community partners to help our clients make the right entrance.
Our 4+ years in the industry, our stellar portfolio, and our unwavering ethics make us a great fit for your marketing needs. Have a project? We’re excited to help!
Let us light your way.