An update on growing and dispensing medical marijuana in the state.
The Alabama Cannabis Commission had its first meeting Thursday. On the agenda, structuring the executive committee.
Dr. Stephen Stokes was appointed as the chairman. He's a Radiation Oncologist in Dothan. Rex Vaughn was elected vice-chairman, he's a farmer in Madison County.
Vaughn said after Thursday's introductory meeting, the next step is to draw up a job description for an executive director. Four members of the commission were put into a sub-committee to create that job description within the coming weeks.
The position needs to be filled within the month and the commission will ultimately make that hire. After hiring an executive director and the director's staff, the commission's focus will turn.
"What we're endeavoring to do has the potential to really be a game-changer for patients who suffer from a number of illnesses," said Vaughn. "None of the less, we think that medical marijuana could provide these individuals with some relief that conventional medicine just hasn't done thus far."
The Alabama Cannabis Commission will have to decide how the commission is going to issue grower licenses and set processing fees. Vaughn said the commission can get the ball rolling on licenses and fees during the next meeting.
The commission will create a description of how people can apply for a license to grow marijuana, process it, or dispense it, whether being a pharmacist or an independent dispensary.
Eventually, the commission will look for nine medical cannabis producers across the state.
The Alabama Cannabis Commission will meet again in two weeks to go over job descriptions and meet with the State Department.