The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) voted recently to impose a stay on the issuance of licenses that were awarded on Aug. 10. The state legislature passed a law establishing the AMCC and …
The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) voted recently to impose a stay on the issuance of licenses that were awarded on Aug. 10.
The state legislature passed a law establishing the AMCC and authorized it to implement the act by making medical cannabis derived from cannabis grown in Alabama available to qualified patients for conditions such as autism spectrum disorder; cancer-related pain or nausea; Crohn's Disease; depression; epilepsy or conditions causing seizures; HIV/AIDS-related nausea or weight loss; panic disorder; Parkinson's Disease; persistent nausea; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); sickle cell anemia; spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury; Tourette's Syndrome; a terminal illness; or conditions causing chronic or intractable pain. However, lawsuits have ensued, and the commission put a pause on the process to ensure the applications were examined equitably.
"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," Chairman Rex Vaughn said. "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 program becomes operational sooner rather than later."
With the stay in place, applicants who were awarded a license on Aug. 10 have no current obligation to pay license fees, and applicants who were denied award of license on Aug. 10 have no current obligation to submit a request for investigative hearing. Additionally, licenses that were awarded on Aug. 10 will not issue on Sept. 7 as previously scheduled.
"I am confident in the process that the commission has used to evaluate applications and select licensees," Vice Chairman Sam Blakemore said. "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 program."
This stay will remain in effect until lifted by the commission. Once the stay is lifted, the licensing process will resume.
The statute allowed the commission to award up to 12 cultivator licenses, four processor licenses, four dispensary licenses, five integrated facility licenses and an unspecified number of secure transport and state testing laboratory licenses. Once the stay is lifted those whose applications were accepted, which includes several in Baldwin County, will be able to grow, produce, and sell medical cannabis products to patients in the form of tablets, capsules, tinctures, gelatinous cubes, gels, oils or creams for topical use, suppositories, transdermal patches, nebulizers, or liquids or oils for use in an inhaler. Raw plant materials, products administered by smoking or vaping, or food products such as cookies or candies will not be allowed.