Alabama reaches settlement over medical marijuana licensing lawsuits

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Alabama’s medical marijuana program might soon be back on track after regulators and rejected license applicants reportedly reached a settlement over issues that led to lawsuits against the state.

Details of the settlement, reached during “a day of closed-door mediation,” still must be ratified at a Nov. 27 meeting of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, according to Birmingham TV station WBRC.

The issues were raised through the course of two attempts over the past year to award licenses for Alabama’s nascent MMJ program.

The first attempt was voided after applicants alleged in lawsuits that the methodology used by the University of South Alabama to score applications was inconsistent.

The second licensing try was voided after applicants who lost out in that round also filed suit.

According to WBRC – which was first to report the agreement – the settlement includes:

  • Tossing out the contentious scores in the first round of applications and not considering them in the next licensing attempt.
  • Dismissing lawsuits related to the scores as well as the issues applicants had with file limits on the application website.
  • Allowing applicants – except for vertically integrated license candidates – an opportunity to resubmit materials before the next licensing attempt.

Regulators previously said they were aiming to award licenses for the third time before the end of this year.

Alabama legalized medical cannabis through the state Legislature in May 2021.