Lawsuits over transparency of licenses cause further delays in Alabama’s medical cannabis program

The process of bringing medical cannabis to Alabama is facing setbacks due to ongoing legal battles surrounding license transparency.

Valerie Bell authored this piece.

The Montgomery County Courthouse is a notable landmark in the area, according to

Medical cannabis was legalized in Alabama three years ago by lawmakers, however, even after a year since licenses were granted, individuals are still unable to obtain a prescription for the medication.

Businesses that were not awarded licenses are advocating for transparency in the selection process and taking legal action to gain insights into why certain businesses were chosen over others.

The wait for individuals seeking medical cannabis access persists.

Alabama Always is among the many applicants vying for an integrator license. However, they believe that the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission is not being impartial in the selection process.

According to attorney Will Somerville, the administrative procedure act has not been fulfilled by anything observed during the investigative hearing process. He believes that this is the reason why the process has been so prolonged. In his opinion, applicants should be given the ability to challenge each other’s qualifications.

According to Somerville, if an individual who did not meet the necessary qualifications were to receive a license, he believes that he should have the ability to bring attention to the issue, attend a hearing with the individual in question, and challenge them to prove their eligibility. “They should be held accountable and required to satisfy the criteria outlined in the act,” Somerville stated.

During a hearing that spanned over two hours on Tuesday, Judge James Anderson listened to arguments presented in court. He made the decision to grant the motion filed for a temporary restraining order while also denying the commission’s motion to dismiss.

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Somerville said, “We believe that we are off to a good start in obtaining some discovery, as he expressed his inclination to grant us some discovery regarding Trulieve, one of the applicants.” He also mentioned that the request for a temporary restraining order was made as a precautionary measure in case the current stay is lifted.

According to Somerville, the process employed by AMCC fails to adhere to the administrative procedure act.

Somerville stated that the commission’s rules have been problematic since the beginning as they did not conform to the administrative procedure act and failed to meet the necessary requirements. He emphasized that if due process is not fulfilled, individuals will complain and seek redress, which will ultimately slow down the process. The goal is to avoid any delays caused by complaints of inadequate due process.

According to Somerville, problems will persist if the process is not rectified in the future.

He expressed his desire for the process to move forward as swiftly as possible.

When contacted by ABC 33/40 to provide a comment regarding Tuesday’s hearing, AMCC issued the following statement in response:

the Court has yet to issue any orders from today’s hearing and we will not comment further on pending litigation. However, I can assure you that the Commission is working everyday to carry out the provisions of the law and AMCC’s rules to provide medical cannabis to Alabama patients who need it.

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