Puff puff pass: Council vote on medical marijuana not unanimous, back next week

Because of a 5-1 vote, Tuscaloosa has to wait another week before approving or denying the ability for medical marijuana dispensaries to set up shop within city limits.

On Tuesday, the vote could only pass if it were unanimous.

District 3 Council Member Norman Crow voted against the measure, meaning it goes back up for a vote at next week’s council meeting. That vote requires a majority, not a unanimous vote.

District 7 Council Member Cassius Lanier was absent from the meeting.

“So the vote for the medical marijuana dispensaries was not a unanimous, vote which means we have to come back next Tuesday and vote again on this particular agenda item,” said District 2 City Council Member Raevan Howard. “We are preparing for that type of growth here throughout the city.”

In 2021, Alabama passed a medical marijuana law allowing for certain forms of cannabis to be sold at licensed dispensaries. The law does not allow for raw forms of cannabis or edibles, but it does allow items including a single flavor of gummy, oils, pills and other ingestible or absorbable forms.

Like other businesses, cities have the right to decide whether or not dispensaries can be allowed within their limits. Potential dispensaries are currently applying for the rights to distribute medical marijuana, and the earliest the state could see it for sale is next year.

Once it’s available, only residents who have been prescribed medical marijuana by a doctor will be allowed to make purchases.

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