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Just Peachy: Medical Marijuana in Alabama Explained

Mary Ekundayo

by Mary Ekundayo

March 26, 2024 08:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 6 Minutes
Fact checked by Kymberly Drapcho
Just Peachy: Medical Marijuana in Alabama Explained

Legal medical marijuana in Alabama was officially legalized in 2021. Alabama’s medical cannabis program allows licensed dispensaries to sell inhalers, topical lotions, suppositories, tablets, nebulizers, and edibles. Additionally, cannabis patients are not allowed to grow, buy, or smoke weed and other inhalable combustibles.

However, when it was announced that Alabama’s medical marijuana program would only allow peach-flavored edibles, it sparked a lot of conversation online. Apart from this recent 2023 announcement, the Cotton State seems to have a track record of strict cannabis programs.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Alabama’s cannabis regulations and the reason behind some of the recent developments — as well as marijuana legalization in other states. 

Examining Medical Marijuana in Alabama

In June 2023, after many years of delay, Alabama finally made significant progress in its marijuana program. Twenty-one businesses received licenses from the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) to legally plant, process, test, sell, and distribute medical cannabis. But, the state’s legislation forbids smoking and consuming medical marijuana in food (with the exception of peach-flavored edibles). 

Because Alabama has not yet legalized recreational cannabis, only patients with one or more of the 15 qualifying conditions can access medical marijuana in Alabama. Some of these health issues include depression, cancer,  seizures, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, and sickle cell anemia. Alabama patients would also need to get a medical marijuana card to purchase weed from authorized dispensaries.

“Protecting the Kids” is the Cotton State’s Priority

Allowing only peach-flavored edibles is probably one of the strangest marijuana regulations you’ll find in the United States. However, Alabama regulators have explained that they believe it’s the best way to protect the younger ones from accidentally eating cannabis gummies.

Additionally, edible manufacturers are banned from packaging their products using languages, cartoons, images, and other fictional characters that minors might love.

It so happens that the one-flavor development is not the first time lawmakers have justified the regulation of adult products in a bid to “keep the kids safe.” In 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned flavored e-cigarette cartridges.

Stephen Hahn. who was the FDA Commissioner, explained that the initiative was adopted to “combat the troubling epidemic of youth e-cigarette use.”

He further explained the need to eliminate “certain flavored e-cigarette products we know are so appealing to teenagers—so-called cartridge-based products that are both easy to use and easily concealable. 

“Nonetheless, it’s quite ironic that many ex-smokers reported that flavored vape cartridges made it easier for them to stop smoking tobacco cigarettes.

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Why Peach-flavored Edibles?

According to the new regulation, and as explained by Brian Lyman, an Editor at Alabama Reflector, kids are more likely to be less interested in peach-flavored eatables. Also, the law has mandated that the edibles be made in gelatinous cubes to further discourage children from finding them appealing. The AMCC believes that the shape will make it easy to separate the edibles from regular children’s candies.

Lyman revealed to that “When medical marijuana was on its way to becoming legal, there was a debate on the Senate floor about trying to keep the gummies away from children.” He also stated that “At one point, the bill said it would have no taste, but (state Sen. Tim) Melson said that would cause people to gag. So the compromise was a single flavor.” 

Tasked with the responsibility of selecting a flavor, AMCC eventually chose the peach, and Lyman further speculated that “Maybe peach isn’t as attractive to people?” 

What The Public Thinks of Peachy Medical Marijuana in Alabama

People have taken to social media platforms to express their opinions on Alabama allowing only peach-flavored gummies, and there seem to be mixed reactions on the matter. Check out the following comments made by some Reddit users:

  • Nude_Dr_Doom: “They say that peach would be a lesser desired flavor for children? Cigarettes taste like ashtrays and didn’t stop whole generations.” 
  • servenitup: “I thought this was hilarious. Sent it to my grandma who has an MM card in another state. Response: “Peach is the worst flavor!” Lol”
  • Dinco_laVache: “How can you not like peach flavor?!! If they don’t want kids to take it, use whatever artificial grape they use to flavor cough medicine.”
  • GreenLightAlabama: “I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised by this choice. Since the point of having just one flavor is to prevent the gummies from appealing to children, I figured they’d choose something that is typically not “yummy” for kids, like mint.”

Cannabis Legislations In Other States.

Apart from Alabama, other states have adopted marijuana regulations that were aimed at protecting kids from consuming weed.  Some of these states and their laws include:


Maryland delayed the launch of its medical cannabis program in 2019 to develop an edible appearance that ensures “the safety of minors.” Back then, Senator Robert Cassilly (R) said he didn’t “want to deprive anyone of their medication, but let’s treat this like medicine, not make little gummy bears out of it.”

New York

New York has prohibited the marketing and promotion of marijuana consumables in a way that appeals to kids and minors. This measure had to be put in place because it seemed like things were getting out of hand, as explained by Katherine Keyes, a Columbia University epidemiologist.

“If you go through a [New York] cannabis dispensary right now, it’s almost absurd how youth-oriented a lot of the packaging and the products are,” Keyes noted. 


In 2014, Colorado lawmakers unanimously agreed to ban edibles shaped like fruits, people, or animals.


In 2018, Washington legislators disallowed the use of bright colors in making edibles. Cannabis products had to conform to a “standard Pantone color book that sets the list of colors and specified ranges within those colors.”

What to Look Out For

Despite the restriction on the flavor of edibles in Alabama, it is good that cannabis products are at least available for those who need them. And, let’s be honest, the concern for young children accidentally ingesting cannabis is valid. Consume responsibly! 

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