The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, at its meeting on April 13, 2023, voted to formally deem 90 applications submitted. The properly filed, amended, and corrected applications, will proceed to the review, evaluation and scoring process.
The application for medical cannabis business licenses closed on December 30, 2022. Timely filed applications were reviewed by AMCC for deficiencies, and applicants were given notice of any deficient items in their application. Applicants were required to file a proposed corrected application, or request more time for filing such application, by March 3, 2023. Additionally, applicants could file a petition to amend items in their application. Applicants who were granted an extension of time to propose deficiency corrections and those filing a proposed amended application were required to file their corrected and/or amended applications by March 24, 2023.
The Commission will consider the following number of applications by license type:
12 cultivator applications
11 processor applications
18 dispensary applications
9 secure transporter applications
2 state testing laboratory applications
38 integrated facility applications
“We are excited to be one step closer to program implementation,” explained Commission Director, John McMillan. “Now that we have our official slate of applicants, the sixty-day window to review applications has started.”
The review, evaluation and scoring of applications will inform the Commission’s decisions regarding award of licenses. This information will be based on the merits of each application as expressed by ranked score. The Commission has engaged the University of South Alabama to establish teams of academic evaluators and other qualified individuals to review, evaluate and score business license applications. The Commission has complete discretion as to the number of licenses awarded (not to exceed the limits provided by the Act) and the applicants to whom licenses are awarded.
Following the evaluation of applications, the Commission, per the statute, may award up to twelve (12) cultivator licenses, four (4) processor licenses, four (4) dispensary licenses, five (5) integrated facility licenses and an unspecified number of secure transport and state testing laboratory licenses.
The Commission will make applicant names and application contents (as redacted by applicants) available for public inspection on April 14, 2023. Public comments in favor or opposed to granting a license to a particular applicant must be made electronically through the AMCC website. The Commission will accept public comments until May 14, 2023.
“We look forward to an operational program that will not only benefit patients by providing relief to pain and other debilitating symptoms, but also will provide opportunities for patients with these debilitating conditions to function and have a better quality of life,” explained Commission Chairman and Oncologist, Dr. Steven Stokes.
At its meeting on June 12, 2023, the Commission is scheduled to award licenses in each license category. Once the business licenses have been issued, physicians may begin the certification process to recommend medical cannabis to qualified patients.
To learn more about the Alabama medical cannabis program, view the medical cannabis business license applications, or provide public comment, visit amcc.alabama.gov.
Alabama Act 2021-450 establishes the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission and authorizes the Commission to implement the Act by making medical cannabis derived from cannabis grown in Alabama available to registered qualified patients, by licensing facilities that process, transport, test, or dispense medical cannabis, and by administering and enforcing the Act and all rules adopted pursuant to the Act.
Under Alabama’s program, registered certifying physicians may recommend medical cannabis to patients who have been diagnosed with 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.
Medical cannabis products that may be recommended to patients include 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.