[Montgomery, Ala] – Exercising its authority and discretion in licensing, the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC), at its meeting on August 10, 2023, nominated applicants and voted to award medical cannabis business licenses to the following applicants.
|Integrated Facility License
|Insa Alabama, LLC
|Flowerwood Medical Cannabis, LLC
|Southeast Cannabis Company, LLC
|Sustainable Alabama, LLC
|TheraTrue Alabama, LLC
|Gulf Shore Remedies, LLC
|Pure by Sirmon Farms, LLC
|Blackberry Farms, LLC
|Twisted Herb Cultivation, LLC
|I AM FARMS
|Greenway Botanicals, LLC
|CRC of Alabama, LLC
|Enchanted Green, LLC
|1819 Labs, LLC
|Organic Harvest Lab, LLC
|Jasper Development Group Inc.
|Yellowhammer Medical Dispensaries, LLC
|CCS of Alabama, LLC
|RJK Holdings AL, LLC
|Statewide Property Holdings AL, LLC
|Secure Transport License
|Tyler Van Lines, LLC
|International Communication, LLC
|State Testing Laboratory License
The University of South Alabama (USA) was engaged by AMCC to coordinate the application review process and recruit evaluators to assess the scored exhibit items for all 90 applicants. USA utilized 66 evaluators, with experience relevant to the application content, to review one of eight scoring categories: (1) Financial Ability; (2) Business/Management Approach; (3) Operations Plans & Procedures; (4) Facility Suitability & Infrastructure; (5) Security Plan; (6) Personnel; (7) Quality Control & Testing; or (8) Marketing & Advertising.
At its meeting on June 12, 2023, the Commission voted to award medical cannabis business licenses in each license category, however due to the discovery of potential inconsistencies in the tabulation of scoring data, the Commission voted on June 16, 2023, to stay all proceedings related to the current offering of medical cannabis business licenses.
Following notification by the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission of a score calculation variance, the University of South Alabama initiated comprehensive reviews by two internal, senior-level accountants who were not involved with the initial tabulations.
The accountants, working independently, recalculated all applicant scores and noted variances from the scores previously submitted to the Commission. After the internal reviews were completed, the University engaged with KPMG – an internationally recognized, Big-Four accounting firm – as an external third party to validate the recalculated scores. KPMG and the two internal recalculations identified the same variances.
“Since the Commission’s inception, we have worked to develop a fair, honest, and equitable process to select licensees,” explained Commission Chairman Rex Vaughn. “It is regrettable that the tabulation errors occurred, however we have acknowledged the miscalculations and have taken the necessary steps to ensure that the data provided to the Commission was accurate. We are sincerely appreciative of the Court for allowing us to take corrective actions.”
Following this award of licenses, the procedural timelines associated with the post-award licensing process will restart. Those applicants who were awarded a license will have 14 days to submit the appropriate license fee and any applicant who has been denied a license may seek an investigative hearing before the Commission to seek reconsideration of said denial.
Under the rules promulgated by the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners, physicians may begin the certification process to recommend medical cannabis to patients 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.
“Formulating the application process, assessing all 90 applications, and making determinations on who to award licenses to has been a monumental task,” explained Vice Chairman and Pharmacist Dr. Sam Blakemore. “We received numerous applications from applicants who would make terrific licensees, which made the selection process extremely competitive. I have spent countless hours reviewing the applications myself and feel confident that we have selected a great slate of licensees.”
While the Commission is limited as to the number of licenses it can issue pursuant to the statute, the Commission intends to open a second offering of licenses for various license categories.
To learn more about the Alabama medical cannabis program 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.
The Commission, per the statute, could 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.
Commission members are appointed to the commission for established terms by various appointing authorities, including the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, State Health Officer, Attorney General, and Secretary of the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency. Each commission member represents certain segments that the legislature deemed important to the establishment and regulation of the medical cannabis program in Alabama. Members of the Commission include: Dr. William Saliski, Pulmonologist; Dr. Sam Blakemore, Pharmacist; Dwight Gamble, Banker; Dr. Angela Martin, Pediatrician; Dr. Eric Jensen, Biochemist; Loree Skelton, Attorney; Rex Vaughn, Farmer; Judge Charles Price, Circuit Judge; Taylor Hatchett, Farmer; James Harwell, Nurseryman and Landscaper, Dr. Jerzy Szflarski, Neurologist, and Dion Robinson, Department of Corrections.
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.