Verano Holdings sues over lost medical marijuana license in Alabama

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

Chicago-based Verano Holdings filed a lawsuit against the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, less than two weeks after the agency revoked a business license it had initially awarded the marijuana multistate operator.

Verano is the second company this month to sue the agency over the state’s MMJ licensing process.

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) awarded an initial 21 cannabis business licenses in June.

But the agency reversed that licensing round – and was sued – after finding “potential inconsistencies” in how the University of South Alabama evaluated those business license applications.

Despite winning one of the five vertically integrated licenses the state will allot with the “highest score” of any applicant, Verano Alabama did not win a permit in the second round announced in August.

Verano was the only applicant awarded a license in June that was not re-awarded a license in August.

The MSO believes it “rightfully earned and was awarded a License, and the Commission did not have the authority to void the awards of the Licenses following the June meeting,” the company told investors in an Aug. 10 public filing.

Verano reiterated that stance in its complaint filed Monday.

The AMCC’s “decision to ‘void’ previously awarded licenses without following the Legislature’s – and its own – clearly established rules and regulations, exceeds and violates the statutory authority it has been granted, violates its own rule, and is clearly erroneous,” the company said in its suit, according to the Alabama Reflector.

“As such, Verano Alabama’s awarded license remains valid.”

Separately, a judge halted the state’s licensing process last week after a separate lawsuit claimed the AMCC violated open-government laws, the Reflector reported.