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Trulieve highlights Alabama roots in medical cannabis licensing process

As the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) navigates the crucial phase of awarding integrated facility licenses, Trulieve, a company that has put down roots in the state, says its presence in Alabama will benefit patients and the state as a whole.

The AMCC heard presentations from integrated facility applicants this week at the Alabama State House, with award announcements expected on December 12. Under the recently-passed Alabama Medical Cannabis Law, “integrated facilities” are companies permitted to handle medical cannabis from seed to sale. Trulieve says its successful experience in multiple states makes it uniquely qualified to serve Alabamians.

“Using our experience from other states where we were first to market, including Georgia, West Virginia, and Florida, we are not only ready to meet the Commission’s benchmarks for providing medical cannabis to Alabama patients: we are prepared to exceed them,” Jim Wernick, Executive Director of State Expansion at Trulieve, said.

RELATED: Medical cannabis coming soon? 21 businesses awarded licenses

Trulieve secured the first medical cannabis license awarded by the State of Florida when the state formalized its system in 2015. Trulieve completed the state’s first sale one year later. 

The AMCC’s licensing process has been a focal point of interest, given the stringent requirements and limited availability of integrated facility licenses. Out of thirty applicants, only five will be granted this comprehensive license.

Trulieve Alabama’s Tony Holland emphasized the importance of technical expertise in the sector. “As a practicing pharmacist for nearly 40 years and a former president of the Alabama Pharmacy Association, I know that it is vital that those participating in the state’s medical cannabis sector have the technical expertise and experience to provide a pharmacy-grade product and operation,” Holland said.

Trulieve’s approach to product quality and safety was a critical aspect of its presentation, as those dynamics are chief among the AMCC’s rigorous vetting standards. 

The company focuses on natural cultivation processes in state-approved, climate-controlled environments, ensuring the purity and safety of its products. 

RELATED: Critical meetings ahead for Medical Cannabis Commission

Eric Powers, Chief Legal Officer at Trulieve, emphasized the sense of responsibility Trulieve  feels for being an Alabama company within the exciting sector. 

“If we are awarded a license, we plan to collaborate with universities and medical associations on patient education and cannabis research; support physicians and veterans; provide employment and job training with the help of local community colleges and workforce development organizations; and support local communities with outreach and philanthropy,” Powers said.

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

In late November, the AMCC met to rank cultivators, processors, secure transporter, and dispensary applicants and voted to award medical cannabis business licenses to 21 applicants

On Tuesday, Trulieve will learn if it will be among the limited group awarded an integrated facility license on the merit of the track record it has cultivated throughout comparable states – as well as Trulieve’s commitment to Alabama. 

“Alabama is my home state, so it is a priority to help patients and make a difference in Alabama communities,” Powers said.

Grayson Everett is the state and political editor for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270

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