First Alabama MMJ Business Licenses Announced

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medical marijuana in grinder Alabama
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WBMA) — The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) on Monday announced its selections for medical cannabis business licenses.

The commission voted on which applicants would be awarded the licenses during a meeting.

“There was no shortage of qualified individuals and entities who provided applications for us to consider,” explained Commission Chairman and Oncologist, Dr. Steven Stokes. “Based on the evaluators’ assessments and the Commission’s considerations, we believe that we have selected an outstanding slate of inaugural licensees to represent Alabama’s new medical cannabis industry.”

The commission said it engaged the University of South Alabama (USA) to coordinate the application review process and recruit evaluators to assess the scored exhibit items for all 90 applicants. USA used 66 evaluators to review one of eight scoring categories: (1) Financial Ability; (2) Business/Management Approach; (3) Operations Plans & Procedures; (4) Facility Suitability and Infrastructure; (5) Security Plan; (6) Personnel; (7) Quality Control and Testing; or (8) Marketing and Advertising.

The commission said each scored exhibit was independently reviewed by two evaluators to assess the applicant’s solvency, stability, suitability, capability, projected efficiency, and experience, both in relation to any baseline set, as well as in comparison with other applicants.

“The Commission has worked diligently since the passage of the Darren Wesley “Ato” Hall Act to develop regulations and policies to facilitate an effective and safe medical cannabis industry,” explained Commission Director, John McMillan. “We are excited to begin working with those applicants who were awarded licenses to meet the needs of so many Alabamians who are living with debilitating conditions that can benefit from medical cannabis.”

Applicants who were awarded a license will have 14 days to submit the appropriate license fee to the commission. At its meeting on July 10, 2023, the Commission is scheduled to issue licenses in each license category.

Under the rules promulgated by the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners, physicians may begin the certification process to recommend medical cannabis after business licenses have been issued.

For a patient to qualify for medical cannabis, the patient must have at least one of the qualifying conditions and be recommended for medical cannabis by a certified physician.

Vice Chairman Rex Vaughn announced at the meeting that the commission intends to open a second offering of licenses for cultivators, secure transporters, and state testing laboratories.

“The Commission looks forward to affording more opportunities for individuals to participate in the industry,” explained Mr. Vaughn. “These businesses will not only serve Alabama patients but provide business and job opportunities for local communities.”

The commission said it could 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.