Better (nearly) late than never. What was looking like a washout for Alabama’s yet-to-be-established medical cannabis industry wound up with a decent turnout.
After years and multiple attempts to more broadly legalise medical cannabis in Alabama, the state’s lawmakers finally gave the green light in February 2021. But the wait was by no means over for the state’s patients.
It wasn’t until September last year the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) began the application process for cultivators, processors, dispensaries and various other licences. An application request had to be submitted by October 17 and December 30 was the deadline for filing applications.
The request stage saw plenty of interest, with hundreds of requests lodged. But when it came to actually filing applications, things were looking grim just days before the deadline when only a handful of applications had been lodged. But just before the deadline, there was a flood. The AMCC said it received a total of 94 applications before cut-off.
The breakdown and number of licences that will be available.
- 12 cultivator applications (up to 12 available)
- 12 processor applications (up to 4 available)
- 18 dispensary applications (up to 4 available)
- 11 secure transporter applications (unspecified)
- 3 state testing laboratory applications (unspecified)
- 38 integrated facility applications (up to 5 available)
The AMCC has a big task ahead of it.
“Although reviewing these competitive applications is a huge undertaking, we will continue to move forward in implementing a fair and robust process that makes public health and safety a top priority,” said Commission Chairman Dr. Steven Stokes
The Alabama Medical Cannabis Association was pleased with the turnout of those wanting to participate in the local industry.
“With the high engagement from our members and interest across the state, we look forward to seeing the impact of this emerging supply chain in Alabama,” said Patrick Lindsey, the organisation’s director.
After the review and a public comment process, the Commission is scheduled to award licenses in each category at its meeting on June 12, 2023. This means patients still unfortunately have quite a wait ahead of them before they’ll be able to purchase medicines.