Alabama medical marijuana licensing might ‘start from scratch’ in a fourth round

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Alabama medical marijuana licenses would be revoked and businesses forced to “start from scratch” and reapply for a fourth time under a bill that’s advanced out of a state Senate committee.

Though Alabama legalized MMJ in 2021, sales have yet to begin and a promised 2024 launch date now seems questionable.

Republican State Sen. Tim Melson’s Senate Bill 306, which advanced Wednesday, would revoke the five licenses for vertically integrated businesses that regulators issued late last year and force companies to reapply yet again, the Alabama Daily News reported.

Frustration with the inability of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) to award licenses without drawing lawsuits boiled over, Melson said.

Wiping ‘the slate clean’

“The commission had one mission, and they have not executed it,” he said, according to the Daily News.

“I think in the best interest of this program, we need to start from scratch, we need to throw (out) every license applicant that received (a license).

“This bill just wipes the slate clean.”

In addition to the five coveted integrated facility permits, Alabama will license no more than 12 cultivators, four processors and four dispensaries. Dispensary licensees will be allowed to operate up to three locations.

Only the integrated licenses would be revoked if SB 306 were to become law.

Commission would lose power

The bill would also severely curtail the AMCC’s power and grant licensing authority to the state Securities Exchange Commission, according to the Alabama Political Reporter.

The state’s first attempt to award licenses was voided after spurred applicants alleged inconsistencies with the method used to score applications.

Lawsuits from applicants who won a license in the first round but not the second voided that round.

A judge blocked the third round in January after noting “a serious question” as to whether it “is also invalid.”