ALABAMA – Alabama’s Medical Cannabis Commission is striving to grant licenses to medical marijuana cultivators and distributors before 2023 concludes, according to a report by the Associated Press.
The state’s medical cannabis program, established two years ago, faced legal challenges over allegations that commissioners used a flawed selection process and deliberated in private before selecting license winners. In order to address these concerns, the commission has adopted an emergency rule for a new selection process. Under this process, companies will present their plans to the commission, and commissioners may consider previously awarded scores from applications.
“It kind of is a reset. We think we have a process to move forward, not ditching what we’ve already done, but making use of it as best as possible,” says Commission Chairman Rex Vaughn.
The timeline for selecting license winners depends on ongoing litigation, but they hope to conclude the process by year-end.
Alabama’s medical cannabis program has been slow to roll out, frustrating patients like 49-year-old Amanda Taylor, who relies on it to manage multiple sclerosis symptoms. The program was approved in 2021 after years of resistance by Alabama lawmakers.
“It’s vital for patients like myself, who are suffering,” said Taylor. “It’s not about getting high. It’s about healing.”