Applicants for Cannabis Business License

At this time, the Commission has not awarded any license types.

From September 1, 2022 – October 17, 2022, the Commission accepted Requests for Business Applications for a license for an integrated facility, cultivator, processor, secure transporter, state testing laboratory or dispensary.

  • The Commission received 607 Request for Application. The number of requests per license category is detailed below.
    • Integrated Facility: 133
    • Cultivator: 124
    • Processor: 35
    • Dispensary: 239
    • Secure Transporter: 69
    • State Testing Laboratory:  7

The Request for Business Application is now closed.

Only applicants who submitted a Request for Business Application will receive a Business Application Form. The Business Application Forms will issue to requestors on October 24, 2022, and applicants will have until December 30, 2022, to file their application.

The non-refundable application fee for all license types is $2,500.


License Types

Integrated Facility

No more than 5 licenses to be awarded. Each licensee may operate up to 5 dispensing sites.

An integrated facility license authorizes all of the following:

  • The cultivation of cannabis.
  • The processing of cannabis into medical cannabis, including proper packaging and labeling of medical cannabis products.
  • The dispensing and sale of medical cannabis only to a registered qualified patient or registered caregiver.
  • The transport of cannabis or medical cannabis between its facilities.
  • The sale or transfer of medical cannabis to a dispensary.

Annual License Fee: $50,000

Read more about the requirements to become an integrated facility in §20-2A-67. Additional details concerning the application process and operation requirements can be found HERE.

Cultivator

No more than 12 licenses to be awarded.

A cultivator license authorizes all of the following:

  • The cultivation of cannabis.
  • The sale or transfer of cannabis to a processor.
  • If the cultivator contracts with a processor to process its cannabis into medical cannabis on the cultivator's behalf, the sale or transfer of medical cannabis to a dispensary.

Annual License Fee: $40,000

Read more about the requirements to become a cultivator in §20-2A-62. Additional details concerning the application process and cultivation can be found in the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries rules found HERE and in the AMCC rules relating to cultivation HERE.

Processor

No more than 4 Licenses to be awarded.

A processor license authorizes all of the following:

  • The purchase or transfer of cannabis from a cultivator.
  • The processing of cannabis into medical cannabis which shall include properly packaging and labeling medical cannabis products, in accordance with the law.
  • The sale or transfer of medical cannabis to a dispensary.

Annual License Fee: $40,000

Read more about the requirements to become a processor in §20-2A-63. Additional details concerning the application process and processing can be found HERE.

Dispensary

No more than 4 Licenses to be awarded. Each licensee may operate up to 3 dispensing sites.

A dispensary license authorizes all of the following:

  • The purchase or transfer of medical cannabis from a processor.
  • If a cultivator contracted with a processor to process its cannabis into medical cannabis on the cultivator's behalf, the purchase or transfer of medical cannabis from the cultivator.
  • The purchase or transfer of medical cannabis from an integrated facility.
  • The dispensing and sale of medical cannabis only to a registered qualified patient or registered caregiver.

Annual License Fee: $40,000

Read more about the requirements to operate a dispensary in §20-2A-64. Additional details concerning the application process and dispensing can be found HERE.

Secure Transporter

No license limits.

A secure transporter license authorizes the licensee to store and transport cannabis and medical cannabis for a fee upon request of a licensee. A license does not authorize transport to a registered qualified patient or registered caregiver.

Annual License Fee: $30,000

Read more about the requirements to become a secure transporter in §20-2A-65. Additional details concerning the application process and transporting can be found HERE.

State Testing Laboratory

No license limits.

A state testing laboratory license authorizes the licensee to possess and test cannabis and medical cannabis products cultivated or processed at licensed facilities.

Annual License Fee: $30,000

Read more about the requirements to become a state testing laboratory in §20-2A-66. Additional details concerning the application process and laboratories can be found HERE.


Fees

Applicants and licensees will be charged various fees, including the following:

  • A non-refundable application fee when applying for a license
  • A license fee when approved for a license
  • The annual fee to renew a license

See the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission 2022-2023 Fee Schedule HERE.


Locality Resolutions and Ordinances

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission has received an ordinance or resolution from each local jurisdiction listed below. The Commission offers no opinion or advice as to whether any specific ordinance or resolution complies with the requirements of Alabama law, including the requirements of Ala. Code § 20-2A-51.

§20-2A-51: Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary, the commission shall not permit a dispensary to operate a dispensing site in any municipality or unincorporated area of a county unless the municipality or county has authorized the operation of dispensing sites within its boundaries, as provided in subdivision (2).

Any county commission, by resolution, may authorize the operation of dispensing sites in the unincorporated areas of the county, and the governing body of any municipality, by ordinance, may authorize the operation of dispensing sites within the corporate limits of the municipality. The county commission or municipal governing body shall notify the commission not more than seven calendar days after adopting the resolution or ordinance.

This subsection does not prohibit a municipality from adopting zoning ordinances restricting the operation of dispensing sites within its corporate limits.

Resolutions/Ordinances Received by the Commission:

Counties and municipalities may submit resolutions or ordinances here.



Application/License FAQs

Does AMCC plan to publish the application form prior to October 24, 2022?

No.

What is the timeline for applications and licensing?

See Appendix A to Chapter 3 of AMCC’s Administrative Rules and Regulations.

Is it the AMCC’s intent to have annual license renewals?

Yes. §20-2A-53(a)(8) Establishes annual license fees for each type of license, provided the fee shall be not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), depending on the category of license.

Can I apply for more than one license type?

No.  538-x-3-.03-1 No person or entity may apply for more than one category of license at a time; an applicant who withdraws an application may reapply, so long as the application is timely, in accordance with Rule 538-x-3-.05.

Is an applicant, at the time of application, required to propose specific property where each facility will be located for the applicant’s proposed cannabis business?

Yes. The AMCC rules require an applicant, at the time of application, to show proof of authorization for the applicant to occupy the property where each facility is proposed to be located. The rules also require additional information specific to each proposed facility. See Rule 538-x-3-.05-3.m.(12).

Is an applicant, at the time of application, required to show that it has satisfied all requirements of the AMCC rules regarding its proposed operations (including facilities and equipment)?

No. The AMCC rules require the applicant, at the time of application, to submit plans demonstrating that its operations will, prior to issuance of a license, satisfy the requirements established by the rules. The applicant, at the time of application, must provide an estimated construction completion date for each facility (if applicable), and the number of days, if awarded a license, within which the applicant reasonably projects it will commence operations as to each facility identified in the application.

Will there be a social equity component for medical cannabis business licenses?

Alabama law provides that at least one-fourth of all licenses for cultivators, processors, secure transporters, dispensaries, and state testing laboratories, and at least one-fifth of all licenses for integrated facilities, be awarded to business entities that are (1) at least 51 percent owned by members of a minority group or, in the case of a corporation, at least 51 percent of the shares of the corporation are owned by members of a minority group, and (2) managed and controlled by members of a minority group in its daily operations. “Minority group” is defined as individuals of African American, Native American, Asian, or Hispanic descent. Ala. Code § 20-2A-51(b)

Are applicants permitted to contact members of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission to inquire about the application and licensing process?

No. The integrity of the application and licensing process is of paramount importance to the Commission and will not be compromised. Throughout the application process, applicants (including all employees, agents and representatives of applicants and any other individual acting on an applicant’s behalf) must not initiate communication with any member of the Commission or any AMCC staff, officials, or representatives regarding the application, except through the email listed in the contact information provided below. See Rule 538-x-3-.04.

How does an applicant submit the application fee?

The non-refundable application fee of $2,500 must be paid, via the online licensing portal, when the applicant files its business application. The deadline to file a business application is December 30, 2022.

Does an employee of an integrated facility, cultivator, processor, secure transporter, dispensary, and state testing laboratory need to be licensed in order to work in Alabama?

The AMCC does not license employees of cannabis business licensees. However, the AMCC rules require employees of licensees to satisfy annual training and continuing education requirements, and, in some cases, to satisfy certain requirements regarding eligibility, education, experience and/or professional certification. Additionally, after the issuance of business licenses, all employees of a business licensee must undergo a pre-employment background check and be registered to the AMCC website.

What records should an applicant provide to indicate that a majority of its ownership is attributable to an individual or individuals with proof of residence in Alabama?

Records indicating residency in Alabama (during the relevant period) may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Homestead Exemption Records
  • Income Tax Documents
  • Alabama Voter Registration Records
  • Alabama Motor Vehicle Registration Records
  • Residential Lease Agreements
  • Insurance Records
What is the relevant time period when submitting records to indicate that a majority of an applicant’s ownership is attributable to an individual or individuals with proof of residence in Alabama?

The relevant time period is the 15-year period preceding the date of application. (Example: If an application is filed on December 1, 2022, then the relevant time period is December 1, 2007 – November 30, 2022).

What documents should an applicant provide to demonstrate that the applicant is at least 51% owned and controlled by member(s) of a minority group?

For each individual who is a member of a minority group, and who owns, manages and controls the daily operations of the applicant’s business, the applicant must provide at least one of the following items:

  • Birth Certificate that includes race
  • Military records or other government issued documents that includes race
Which individuals associated with an applicant are required to undergo a State and National criminal background check?
  • Each owner of an applicant
  • Each shareholder of an applicant
  • Each director of an applicant
  • Each board member of an applicant
  • Each individual with an economic interest in an applicant (including each individual who has a direct or indirect ownership interest in an entity that has an ownership interest in an applicant)
How are the State and National criminal background checks requested?

State criminal background checks are conducted by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) and national criminal background checks are conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Specific instructions and request forms are included in FORM C: State Background Check (ALEA) and FORM D: National Background Check (FBI). These forms are available on the AMCC website at https://amcc.alabama.gov/cannabis-business-applicants/#resources.

Are there predesigned forms for the required exhibits?

The applicant is required to use a predesigned form for some exhibits. In such cases, the exhibit description directs the applicant to the appropriate form. Exhibit descriptions are provided in Section 3.2 of the Application Guide. The Application Guide, specific to the type of license being applied for, and all pre-designed forms are available on the AMCC website at https://amcc.alabama.gov/cannabis-business-applicants/#resources.

Is there any guidance regarding the format and contents of exhibits?

Yes. Exhibit descriptions are provided in Section 3.2 of the Application Guide and an exhibit template is provided in the Appendix of the Application Guide. The Application Guide, specific to the type of license being applied for, and a Mircosoft Word version of the exhibit template are available on the AMCC website at https://amcc.alabama.gov/cannabis-business-applicants/#resources.

What if multiple exhibits require production of identical information?

In developing exhibit descriptions, AMCC has, to the greatest extent possible, removed any duplicative language and requests for exhibits. Any information that, in identical format, is required as part of multiple exhibits must be included in each applicable exhibit (i.e., do not reference material in one exhibit that is provided in another exhibit).

Is there a page limit or word limit for the application or exhibits?

Yes. Exhibit descriptions, including applicable page limits, are provided in Section 3.2 of the Application Guide. The Application Guide, specific to the type of license being applied for, is available on the AMCC website at https://amcc.alabama.gov/cannabis-business-applicants/#resources.

How will applications be evaluated and scored?

The review, evaluation, and scoring of applications will be completed in three phases, each of which may be conducted by the Commission, one or more independent consultants selected by the Commission, or a combination of the two. The review, evaluation, and scoring process is presented in detail in Section 2 of the Application Guide. The Application Guide, specific to the type of license being applied for, is available on the AMCC website at https://amcc.alabama.gov/cannabis-business-applicants/#resources.

Is an applicant permitted to amend a previously filed application?

Yes. Not more than once during an offering period, absent extenuating circumstances, an applicant having previously filed an application may file an amended application. The deadline to file an amended application, absent extenuating circumstances, is December 30, 2022, and the fee is $1,250. See Rule 538-x-3-.06-1. – 9.

An applicant may petition the Commission to amend an application based on extenuating circumstances. Such petition must be received on or before March 3, 2023, and proposed amendments based on extenuating circumstances must be received on or before March 24, 2023. The fee for filing and amended application based on extenuating circumstances is $2,500. See Rule 538-x-3-.06-10. – 14.

Will an applicant be notified if its application is deficient?

Yes. The Commission, on February 13, 2023, will issue a Notice of Deficiency to any applicant whose original or amended application filing is deficient. See Rule 538-x-3-.08-1.

Under what conditions is an application considered deficient?

Deficiencies include, but are not limited to, the following: corrupted or illegible file materials, incomplete applications (i.e., missing required documentation), improperly formatted or labeled materials, and typographical errors preventing reasonable understanding of one or more of the applicant’s statements. See Rule 538-x-3-.08-2.

Note: An applicant’s failure to satisfy a “Pass/Fail” item (See Application Guide, Section 2.2 – Pass/Fail Items) shall not be considered an application deficiency; instead, failure to satisfy a “Pass/Fail” item shall make an applicant ineligible for a license.

What is the deadline for filing a Cannabis Business License Application?

The deadline to file a Cannabis Business License Application is 4:00 p.m. CT on December 30, 2022. A complete timeline for the application and licensing process is available in the Appendix to Chapter 3 of the AMCC Rules.

Who are the individuals for which an applicant must submit a resume/curriculum vitae (FORM A)?
  • Each individual with a direct ownership interest in the applicant
  • Each individual with an indirect or direct ownership interest in an entity that has an ownership interest in the applicant
How is an individual’s ownership percentage in an applicant calculated?

An individual’s ownership percentage in an applicant depends on whether the individual has a direct ownership interest in the applicant or an ownership interest (direct or indirect) through an entity that has an ownership interest in the applicant.

If the individual has a direct ownership interest in the applicant, then the ownership percentage in the applicant is equal to the individual’s percentage of direct ownership (Example: An individual has a 40% ownership interest in the applicant).

If the individual has an ownership interest in an entity that has an ownership interest in the applicant, then the individual’s ownership percentage in the applicant is based on the individual’s ownership percentage in the ownership entity and the ownership entity’s ownership percentage in the applicant (Example: An individual has a 40% ownership interest in an entity that has 20% ownership interest in an applicant. The individual has an 8% ownership interest in the applicant).

To what extent should an applicant, in the application exhibits, de-identify the applicant and entities and individuals associated with the applicant?

The applicant should de-identify the exhibits to the extent that such de-identification does not create confusion with the application materials. Likewise, any de-identification should be neutral as to the review, evaluation and scoring of the application.

Will the State accept cash collateral, or other proof of capital, in lieu of a performance bond as required for Integrated Medical facilities?

No.

Is an applicant permitted to use electronic signatures on the application exhibits and forms?

Yes, unless a form must be notarized, in which case an original wet ink signature is required.

Will the Commission provide a list of applicants, or any other information contained in applications?

As provided by Rule 538-x-3-.13, the Commission will make applicant names and application contents available for public inspection following the date on which the Commission deems applications formally submitted (slated to take place at the Commission meeting on April 13, 2023).

Is an applicant required to comply with any local jurisdiction requirements, other than showing that a municipal ordinance or county resolution has been adopted to allow for dispensing sites in a local jurisdiction?

Alabama law and the AMCC administrative rules require that a resolution or ordinance must be passed to affirmatively allow a dispensing site in the local jurisdiction where such a facility is proposed by an applicant. There may be other restrictions imposed at the local level (i.e., zoning codes) that would limit or prohibit operation of some, or all, facilities proposed by an applicant, either specifically (i.e., cannabis-related facilities are limited or prohibited) or generally (i.e., no business or industrial activities permitted in a residential zone). The applicant must show that, as to each facility, it has all necessary local approvals and that there are no encumbrances to operating a facility proposed in the application.

How does an applicant show that it has “possessory interest” in vehicles and/or other equipment and machinery that it proposes to use as part of its operations?

Possessory interest means that the applicant has or will have, after the satisfaction of certain conditions, the right to possess the item (i.e., vehicles, equipment, machinery) in question. The rules require documentation showing possessory interest. The documentation must show whether the applicant has a current possessory interest (i.e., owns or leases) or a future possessory interest (i.e., contingent upon certain conditions and how possession will accrue upon satisfaction of said conditions).

What types of records should an applicant submit to show that individuals and/or entities with ownership interest in the applicant have the requisite experience in commercial horticulture or agronomic production?

There is no definition of the terms “commercial horticulture” and “agronomic production” in Alabama’s medical cannabis Act. The Commission will broadly construe those terms to include experience in those respective fields. Certifications, business documents, employment/position verifications, and licenses would be some examples of appropriate documentation, so long as they sufficiently identify and are connected to the individual and/or entity owners of the applicant who are claiming such relevant experience.

Will AMCC provide information or guidance as to a preferred response/approach proposed by an applicant, or how an application may be scored depending on the response/approach proposed by an applicant?

No. AMCC offers no preference as to the response/ proposed by an applicant. AMCC is unable to answer how a particular response/approach will be scored, as compared to any other response/approach or any other application(s).

What is the minimum amount of liability and casualty insurance that is required?

$2,000,000. See Ala. Code § 20-2A-53(a)(2).

Is an applicant permitted to use photographs, graphics, and visual aids (i.e., charts and tables) in the application exhibits?

Photographs, graphics, and visual aids may be used as a substantive part of an exhibit response. They should not, however, be made part of the formatting of the exhibit (i.e., as borders, for design or aesthetic purposes only).

Does the verification statement on the exhibit cover page serve as a verification for an item in the exhibit that is required to be verified?

No. The verification statement on the cover page is the Applicant’s verification of the accuracy and completeness of the entire exhibit. The cover page verification must be completed by an individual who has authority to act on behalf of the Applicant. Any verification or verified statement required as part of an exhibit should be separately verified as required within the exhibit.

Are integrated facility applicants and dispensary applicants required to propose the maximum number of dispensing sites in their applications?

A dispensary applicant is limited to proposing 3 dispensing sites and an integrated facility applicant is limited to proposing 5 dispensing sites. There is no requirement for the applicant to propose a facility for the maximum number of dispensing sites. However, one factor that the Commission may consider in awarding a license is “[t]he extent to which an Applicant, if awarded a license, anticipates fully utilizing its license authorization and/or the number of its permitted facilities.” Rule 538-x-3-.11(3)(h).

Does the exhibit cover page count toward the page limit?

No.

Will the Commission accept an Integrated Facility Performance Bond from a surety with an A-minus (A-) rating?

Yes. The minimum A-rating required of surety providing the Integrated Facility Performance Bond may be satisfied with a rating in the “A” range (i.e., A- or higher).

What is an acceptable page size for blueprints/floorplans required in application exhibits?

Blueprints and floorplans must be 8.5” x 11” page size so as to not affect the remainder of the PDF document in which they are contained. However, the blueprint/floorplan pages should be such that they can be zoomed/magnified without any feature of the drawing losing scale, detail, resolution or clarity.

Is there a list of pesticides that are not allowed in the cultivation of cannabis?

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) recommends following the Hemp Pest Management Guide published by Extension. Any further questions relating to pesticide usage should be directed to ADAI.


Contact

The integrity of the application and licensing process is of paramount importance to the Commission and will not be compromised. Throughout the application process, applicants (including all employees, agents and representatives of applicants and any other individual acting on an applicant’s behalf) must not initiate communication with any member of the Commission or any AMCC staff, officials, or representatives regarding the application, except through the email provided below.

As the Commission may deem helpful, questions submitted by applicants to the AMCC website, along with AMCC’s response, may be made public for the benefit of other applicants as part of the FAQs listed above.

Questions concerning the application or application process may be submitted to applications@amcc.alabama.gov

Any unauthorized contact with the Commission or its staff, officials, or representatives during the course of the application process may disqualify the applicant from further consideration.