On Thursday, the last 11 members of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission will be appointed by state leaders.
Although it won't be until 2022 before qualified patients are able to use medicinal marijuana in the state, pre-registration to receive a card is showing a lot of people are interested already.
Companies like Green Health Doc are seeing dozens of people in Alabama each and every week. There's so much interest that the patient care specialist is booked out until late next month.
"We're more or less just getting ahead of the game. We want to offer those answers rather than waiting for people to come to us," Howel Ard, a patient care specailist with Green Health Docs, said.
Ard acts as a liaison for people interested in getting medical marijuana in states that have new cannabis programs. She said she has about 10 people sign up a day to speak with her.
"We're actually training another patient care specialist to take on the Alabama load so we can get more patients seen," she said.
Many of the people Ard consults have chronic pain or PTSD. She said it's beneficial for people interested in medical marijuana to go through the pre-registration process so when registration does begin they can be seen by a physician more quickly.
"Pre-registration is more or less just a process that we've developed internally that makes it easier for people to get on the schedule with our doctors based on the severity of the cases and the availability of our doctors," Ard said.
But,it will be more than a year before those patients will be able to receive their medical cards.
The state's medical cannabis commission will work over the next year to issue licenses for growing marijuana in the state.
The application period for those licenses doesn't open until September 2022. It's why Ard says pre-registering can really be beneficial if you're in need .
"We have a huge number of post-traumatic stress patients who are decompensating drastically, their mental health is deteriorating to the point they aren't able to care for themselves effectively, and those are the sort of the people I consider a priority needs case and they'll be some of the people I'll reach out to to get treatment."
Once that commission is fully appointed, they will begin having regular meetings starting in July.
If you are interested in pre-registration you can contact Green Health Doc by calling or texting 877-242-0362