Alabama’s Medical Marijuana Rollout Stalls After Fee Freezes Licensing


The fee offered no indication of how lengthy the keep could be in impact.

In a shocking reversal, the Alabama Medical Hashish Fee indefinitely suspended the licensing for cultivators, dispensaries, and different contributors within the state’s newly initiated medical marijuana program. The choice got here following an emergency assembly held by the fee on Friday.

The license suspension comes after the fee found potential discrepancies within the scoring knowledge used to evaluate candidates – and solely days after the fee greenlit 21 candidates to maneuver forward. Based on Dr. Steven Stokes, the fee chair and an oncologist, the invention led to the advice for the keep.

“The keep is beneficial because of the (fee’s) discovery of potential inconsistency within the tabulation of scoring knowledge,” Stokes mentioned through the assembly.

Stokes kept away from elaborating on the exact nature of the difficulty. Equally, Brittany Peters, a spokeswoman for the fee, mentioned she couldn’t remark additional on the matter when reached by The Related Press.

The fee plans to hunt an impartial assessment of all of the scoring knowledge. The issuance of licenses shall be reconsidered as soon as the keep is lifted. Regardless of the maintain up, Stokes described the state of affairs as a “non permanent setback.”

“We’re making an attempt to be sincere and truthful with everybody. We’ve acquired to maneuver ahead and proper any issues we discover. Each state that began a medical marijuana program has had issues. We aren’t any completely different,” Stokes mentioned.

The influence of the pause on the supply of medical marijuana in Alabama stays unclear. The state’s lawmakers authorized the medical marijuana program in 2021, however it has not been absolutely applied but.

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Earlier than the keep was issued, officers anticipated that medical marijuana might be obtainable to sufferers by late 2023 or early 2024.

Nonetheless, officers beforehand expressed concern that the launch might get held up by litigation over the applying course of. One authorized problem was already filed by one applicant who requested a courtroom to delay the licensing.

The decide in that case had not dominated on the request for a keep as of June 9, the Alabama Day by day Information reported, which cleared the best way for the fee to award permits final Monday. Now, the gavel seems to have lastly fallen.

In an announcement, fee director John McMillan pledged a swift decision to the issue, stating, “The Fee will work expeditiously to analyze and establish inconsistencies within the rating knowledge.”

Based on JD Supra, those that have been awarded a license on June 12 is not going to need to pay the license charge by June 26, as beforehand required. Equally, these denied licenses usually are not mandated to submit a Request for Investigative Listening to type by the identical date.

Licenses that have been to be issued on July 10 may even not proceed as deliberate.

The fee mentioned that it gained’t present rating knowledge or different supplies associated to the applying course of whereas the keep stays in place.

As soon as the fee decides to carry the keep, it should reassess candidates and supply particular timelines for the fee of license charges, submission of requests for investigative hearings, and the awarding of licenses.

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A restricted variety of permits have been obtainable for the applicant pool:

  • 12 for growers
  • 4 for processors
  • 4 for dispensaries
  • 5 for vertically built-in services beneath state legislation.

Annual charges vary from $30,000 to $50,000 relying on allow kind.

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