LEARN | LAWS & REGULATIONS
Is weed legal in Alabama?
The short answer is no. With the exception of some CBD products, marijuana is illegal in Alabama.
In 2014 Gov. Robert Bentley signed an amendment to the state’s criminal code that became known as Carly’s Law. It enabled the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to provide non-psychoactive CBD oil to children with seizures as part of a clinical study for up to five years .
On July 1, 2016, Leni’s Law was passed to amend Carly’s Law, permanently allowing the possession and use of CBD oil by those suffering from a debilitating medical condition as diagnosed by a physician with whom the patient has a bonafide doctor-patient relationship. In July 2019, Governor Kay Ivey signed SB 225 , which redefined and rescheduled CBD to align with federal definitions in the 2018 Farm Bill and allowed Alabama pharmacies to sell CBD products.
Democratic state Sen. Bobby Singleton in 2015 proposed the Medical Marijuana Patient Safe Access Act, which would have enabled patients with 25 severe medical conditions to access medical cannabis. The bill never reached the Senate floor for a vote.
Recreational cannabis is illegal in Alabama. First-time possession of personal amounts of marijuana is a misdemeanor, while repeated possession or possession with intent to sell is a felony.
Alabama seemed poised to legalize medical marijuana in early 2020 when life in America ground to a halt amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Senate passed SB 165, the Compassion Act , by a solid margin but the House, which seemed to support the bill, never got a chance to vote as the legislature adjourned early. The state doesn’t allow for citizen initiatives, so legislative action is the only route for reform.
Where is it safe to purchase?
There are no regulations for sales of CBD products that fall below the 0.3% THC threshold. Businesses or individuals that sell any cannabis product containing more than the legal amount of THC can be charged with a felony, face a sentence of two to 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $30,000. Sales of cannabis to a minor can be punishable by a 10 years-to-life sentence and a maximum $60,000 fine.
Alabama consumers can purchase CBD products both in-person and online. Typically, CBD products are sold at CBD-specific shops and wellness and health food stores. In Alabama, pharmacies can sell CBD products over the counter, as long as they are sourced from legal producers and contain no more than 0.3% THC.
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 a “restricted business,” so not all payment methods may be available.
Where is it safe to consume?
Consumption of CBD is legal anywhere. Consumption of marijuana with more than 0.3% THC is illegal everywhere in Alabama.
Possession and cultivation limits
Cultivation is illegal in Alabama. An individual cultivating a marijuana plant at home for personal use can be charged with trafficking cannabis, which is considered a felony. Possessing any amount of processed cannabis is considered a misdemeanor with up to one (1) year in prison or a $6,000 fine. Those suspected of possessing marijuana for any purpose other than personal use may face a felony with up to 10 years in prison or a $15,000 maximum fine. Decriminalization was set to be taken up in the Senate before the coronavirus shut-down in 2020.
View the cannabis & CBD laws & regulations for Alabama.
Alabama Marijuana Laws
Created byВ FindLaw’s team of legal writers and editors | Last updated November 15, 2019
Last updated 11/11/2019
Marijuana, whether you spell it “marihuana,” as Alabama law does, or call it cannabis, pot, weed, grass, ganja, Mary Jane, chronic, or anything else, is a common, yet controversial drug. Marijuana law is currently going through a great deal of change throughout the country, with more and more states legalizing recreational and/or medical marijuana use every year.В
Today, almost all forms of marijuana possession, sale, or trafficking in Alabama is illegal. The only legal form of marijuana in Alabama is CBD or cannabidiol, which is a compound in cannabis that has medical effects without the THC to get you high.В
The table below outlines AlabamaвЂ™s main marijuana laws.
There are two degrees or levels of unlawful possession of marijuana in Alabama. First degree is possessing marijuana for something other than personal use (Class C felony) or for personal use after a previous conviction of unlawful possession of marijuana (Class D felony). These can get you between 1 and 10 years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine.
Possession of pot for personal use is only a Class A misdemeanor (the highest misdemeanor in Alabama). This is possession in the second degree. A Class A misdemeanor can be sentenced to not more than a year in jail and up to a $6,000 fine.
In addition, under the Alabama Drug Trafficking Enterprise Act a person who manages at least 5 people and gets a substantial income from the marijuana trade faces higher fines and longer minimum sentences. For a first conviction, the mandatory minimum is 25 years in prison with a fine between $50,000 and $500,000. For a second conviction, the leader is facing life in prison without parole and a $150,000 to $1,000,000 fine. The sentences under this law cannot be less than what the defendant faces under the trafficking and habitual offender laws alone.
Note:В State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Get Help With Your Case From an Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you or a loved one is facing a marijuana-related criminal charge, you should consult with an experienced Alabama drug crimes attorney as soon as you can. The laws surrounding marijuana are constantly changing and you’ll want to be sure you know any possible defenses that may be available to you. If you’re facing charges, don’t delay; call an Alabama drug crimes attorney today.
FindLaw offers a chart providing details of Alabama's marijuana laws.