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Alabama Halts Issuance of Medical Licences

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) has voted to halt the issuance of licenses that were awarded on 10 August 10, 2023, which will no longer be issued 7 September as planned.

The decision follows a number of lawsuits filed against the state. Alabama Always LLC has initiated legal action against the AMCC, alleging a breach of the Open Meetings Record Act where the company suggests the Commission nominated preferred candidates in private.

Most recently, medical cannabis company Verano has filed a lawsuit, suing the Commission for revoking its business license due to application score errors, claiming the Commission exceeded its authority.

The company wants its licence reinstated, asserting that the commission lacks the power to “void” licenses.

In a statement, Chairman Rex Vaughn said: “The Commission has a singular goal of ensuring that medical cannabis products reach patients in need of them. The Commission’s action today, while pausing the process, furthers that goal by attempting to avoid additional legal challenges.

“We understand that litigation is an obstacle just as it has been in every other state that has a medical cannabis program. However, we appreciate and join in the Court’s commitment to seeing that Alabama’s programme becomes operational sooner rather than later.”

The AMCC has stated that applicants who were awarded a license on August 10, 2023, have no current obligation to pay license fees and applicants who were denied award of license on August 10, 2023, have no current obligation to submit a request for investigative hearing.

“I am confident in the process that the Commission has used to evaluate applications and select licensees,” added Vice Chairman Sam Blakemore.

“Nonetheless, I welcome reasonable discussions with interested parties about the process as directed by the Court and I am hopeful that we will soon move forward with our programme.”

The AMCC has said that the pause will stay in place unless lifted by the Commission.

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