New companies join lawsuit against Alabama’s medical cannabis commission

More companies are joining the lawsuit, complaining that no one came to view their operations while scoring applications.
Published: Jul. 6, 2023 at 7:28 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It’s back to square one for the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission. Recently awarded business licenses are being voided. Last month companies sued the commission over the application process and the commission later admitted there were mistakes in their tabulation. Now, more companies are joining the lawsuit, complaining that no one came to view their operations while scoring applications.

“We’re gonna be investigating the whole thing,” said John McMillan, director of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission.

Alabama’s Medical Cannabis Commission hired a big four accounting firm to reevaluate business license applications.

“The process is to do the site inspections, between the time that the licenses are awarded, and the time that the license is issued,” said McMillan.

Denied companies now have a chance to get a business license, like Alabama Always where construction started over a year ago on a $5 million facility. It’s incomplete but they wanted to show the public what they are working on.

“Alabama Always facility location was chosen in an economically depressed area, here in West Montgomery, for the purpose of revitalization,” said an Alabama Always investor Ben McNeil.

In downtown Montgomery is one of many buildings across South Alabama meant to be dispensaries owned by the hemp company Oscity. They were denied a business license, despite already growing cannabis for their hemp products which are the same as required by Alabama law.

“What we’re asking for is that come to see us, come realize what we’re already doing, get to understand what it takes to be GMP certified, what it takes to already be manufacturing,” said Oscity CEO Ray French.

McMillian says now the timing of when cannabis will be available depends on how many more lawsuits they face.

“I hope at some point, something is going to prevail to consider the patients that desperately need this product, instead of how hard can I get after greenbacks,” said McMillan.

McMillan would not name the big four accounting firm that is reviewing the tabulations of applications. They plan to award new business licenses on August 10 after which they will tour facilities.

Next Monday will be the commission’s first meeting since pausing the licensing process.

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