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Critical meetings ahead for Medical Cannabis Commission

On Tuesday, the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) released their schedule of meetings to receive presentations and award licenses. In the coming weeks, cannabis applicants will have the opportunity to present directly to the Commission over two weeks.

The AMCC previously awarded licenses in June and August, but all were vacated following lawsuits over the selection process. The Commission aims to issue licenses in January, with the first legal medical cannabis expected to be available by late March.

The Commission will hold its first presentations on Monday, November 27, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 200 of the Alabama State House.

RELATED: Medical Cannabis Commission resets timeline on licensing

On November 27, the AMCC will hear from applicants seeking cultivator and state testing laboratory licenses. The following day applicants for secure transporter and processor licenses will present. On November 29, dispensary applicants will have their turn.

The AMCC will award licenses for cultivator, state testing laboratory, transporter, processor, and dispensary on December 1. Then on December 12, the commission will award integrated facility licenses.

Plaintiffs in ongoing litigation have challenged the application scoring by the University of South Alabama. The June awards favored high-scoring applicants, a trend mostly repeated in August. However, Verona LLC, despite being a high scorer and receiving a June award, received no award in August.

RELATED: Company challenges license reversals in Alabama cannabis licensing battle

Should unsuccessful applicants sue following the December awards, the scoring process is likely to be a key complaint. The June and August awards were stayed by the court, preventing the AMCC from issuing licenses. It remains to be seen whether the court will issue another stay if there are new lawsuits over the December process or scoring concerns.

The legislature will reconvene in February 2024. Some legislators are expected to advocate for increasing the number of licenses the AMCC can award, a limit set in the original 2021 legislation by State Senator Tim Melson (R-Florence).

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