Alabama Regulators Advance 90 Medical Cannabis Business License Applications to Review Process

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) voted at its April 13 meeting to advance 90 medical cannabis business license applications to the review process, during which the applications will be evaluated and scored.

The application window for medical cannabis business licenses closed Dec. 30, 2022, and the state plans to license up to 12 cultivators, four processors, four dispensaries, five integrated facilities, and an unspecified number of secure transporters and testing facilities, according to an AMCC press release.

Of the 90 applications that the commission will consider, 12 are for cultivation, 11 are for processing, 18 are for dispensaries, nine are for secure transporters, two are for testing labs and 38 are for integrated facilities.

“We are excited to be one step closer to program implementation,” AMCC Director John McMillan said in a public statement. “Now that we have our official slate of applicants, the 60-day window to review applications has started.”

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The commission reviewed all applications filed by the Dec. 30 deadline for deficiencies and notified applicants of any deficient items. Applicants were then required to file a proposed corrected application or request additional time to file by March 3. Applicants were also permitted to file a petition to amend items in their applications. All corrected and amended applications were due by March 24.

The AMCC has now tapped the University of South Alabama to establish teams of academic evaluators and other qualified individuals to review, evaluate and score the applications. Licenses will be awarded at the commission’s June 12 meeting based on the merits of each application, represented by a ranked score.

In the meantime, the AMCC will accept public comments until May 14 on the applications, which were made public April 14. Comments in favor of or opposed to granting a license to a particular applicant can be made electronically on the AMCC website.

Once the commission awards the medical cannabis business licenses in mid-June, physicians can start certifying qualified patients for the program.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed the state’s medical cannabis program into law in May 2021. The AMCC approved rules in August 2022 to govern the business licensing process.

Regulators began accepting requests for applications in September and ultimately sent applications to more than 600 business hopefuls.

“We look forward to an operational program that will not only benefit patients by providing relief to pain and other debilitating symptoms, but also will provide opportunities for patients with these debilitating conditions to function and have a better quality of life,” AMCC Chairman Steven Stokes said in a public statement.

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