Minorities to benefit from Alabama medical cannabis business license applications

Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 5:33 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 3, 2023 at 6:22 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission has received 94 applications for a business license. According to state law, one-fourth of all the licenses and one-fifth of integrated facility licenses must be awarded to minority-owned businesses.

Antoine Mordican is a Black business owner in the hemp industry. He applied for a cultivator license with his company, Native Black Cultivation, and believes representation is important.

“It is extremely critical because we all know that black and brown people have been the victim of the war on drugs and things like that,” he said. “So, any emerging industry that is coming that’s going to be including cannabis, minorities have to be involved in benefiting some form of some way.”

Mordican says there’s at least one minority-owned business in each of the six categories.

“I was very strategic with my application to make sure that I had at least one minority-owned company as a part of my evidence and showing that I have a relationship with them and that if I’m awarded a license, we’ll be doing business together,” he said.

The Commission received the following number of applications by license type:

  • 12 - cultivator applications
  • 12 - processor applications
  • 18 - dispensary applications
  • 11- secure transporter applications
  • 3 - state testing laboratory applications
  • 38 - integrated facility applications

The Commission can 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.

“It’s gonna be helpful not only to the patients that need the medication but also to the economy of the state and municipalities where dispensers located,” said John McMillan, the director of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission.

Applications will be evaluated by a team of academic evaluators at the University of South Alabama. Right now, it’s unclear how many faculty members will be on the board, but the pledge is to make the applications public by mid-April.

“We believe that by the June meeting of the Commission, the commission itself will be ready to allocate the officially the licenses that are going to be issued,” said McMillan.

McMillan says the commission is still on schedule to have the product available in late 2023 or early 2024.

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