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Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission licensing pause to continue until hearing next week

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) — Delays continue for medical cannabis in Alabama.

On Monday, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge James Anderson extended a temporary restraining order on licensing and delayed a hearing on the Open Meetings Act Violation that was alleged by one of the companies denied a license.

Attorneys for the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission said the commission will vote to stay the licensing process at their meeting this Thursday. That would be on top of the court-ordered stay already in place. They’ll then discuss how to move forward with awarding licenses for what would be the third time.

Lawyers for the company Alabama Always say they’re encouraged by a third round of awards, done in the open.

“The way that government in our country should work is that people should be given notice of what the government is doing and an opportunity to participate and respond. That’s it. I’m hopeful that the process is heading in that direction,” Somerville said.

Alabama Always built a facility in Montgomery and was twice denied an integrated facility license. The AMCC’s score sheet shows them ranked 26 out of 38 applicants.

“Their objective at the end of the day is to get a license. They’ve spent a lot of money,” Somerville said.

Meanwhile, other companies have also joined the litigation. Verano Alabama was awarded an integrated facility license the first time but not the second.

The score sheet shows them ranked number one. In their complaint to the court, Verano says they should get a license. Their CEO also sent a letter to Gov. Kay Ivey saying they are “ready, willing, and able to invest at least $40 million in Alabama.”

While companies battle in court, Chey Garrigan with the Alabama Cannabis Industry Association says patients are waiting.

“I think it’s very sad. Because nobody was there representing the patients. They were just there representing the people that did not receive a license. The only thing that people in pain right now want to know is, ‘When can I get a card?’,” Garrigan said.

Judge Anderson extended that temporary restraining order until Sept. 6. That’s when he set the hearing on the Open Meetings Act issue.


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