Medical Marijuana licenses stay as companies argue selection process was flawed

Montgomery, Alabama –

On Friday, a judge told the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, as the two companies allege they used a flawed and secret process to select winners for licenses that could benefit the state. ordered a temporary suspension of issuing licenses to growers and distributors.

The order comes as early as last week when the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission suspended licenses awarded on June 12 after the chairman said he found “potential discrepancies in the aggregation of scoring data.” It reinforces the decisions made by Montgomery Circuit Judge James Anderson on Friday issued a temporary restraining order suspending the license pending resolution of the scoring data issue. The state and businesses agree to this suspension, which also preserves the rights of denied businesses to file administrative appeals and reviews.

Anderson had scheduled a July 13 hearing on the company’s preliminary injunction, as the company alleges the entire selection process was flawed.

Alabama Always and Hornet Medicinals, two of the companies that applied for five combined seed-to-market licenses, sued the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission for problems with the licensing process. Attorneys for Alabama Always said in court filings that the commission scored the application using anonymous scorers hired by the University of Southern Alabama and scored it without any discussion on June 12. claimed.

“We believe this process has been kept secret from day one,” Alabama Always attorney William Somerville told Anderson at a court hearing on Friday.

Somerville told reporters he did not agree with the company’s scoring method, especially on the financial side, noting that the company has already invested US$4.5 million in the growing facility. The company said in a court filing that it is ready to open stores and stock medical marijuana by January at the earliest.

Alabama Always has asked Anderson to order the committee to provide additional information about the scoring and selection process.

The committee did not elaborate on the scoring issue, other than to say there were potential discrepancies.

Medical oncologist Steven Stokes, M.D., chairman of the panel, said last week that “potential discrepancies in the aggregation of scoring data were found[by the panel]and are recommended to be discontinued.” said at the meeting.

In 2021, the Alabama legislature ended years of resistance and approved the creation of a program to allow the use of marijuana for certain medical conditions. But it’s not available to patients yet, because states have to make regulations and license growers and distributors.

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