On Friday, a court ordered the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission to temporarily freeze licensing of producers and distributors. It comes after two companies argued the state used an unfair and secretive method to select winners of the potentially lucrative licenses. After the chairman of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission said he had identified “a potential inconsistency in the tabulation of scoring data,” the decision reaffirms a decision the commission already made a week ago to halt the issuance of licenses that were to be granted. out June 12.
On Friday, Montgomery Circuit Court Judge James Anderson issued a temporary restraining order, delaying licensing until the issue with the scoring data can be resolved. Both the state and the companies agreed to the suspension, which will also protect the denied companies’ right to pursue administrative appeal and review. In light of the companies’ claim that the entire selection process was riddled with flaws, Anderson ordered a July 13 hearing into their request for a preliminary injunction.
Alabama Always asked Anderson to issue an order to the commission requiring it to turn over additional documents regarding the evaluation and selection process. Besides stating that there was potential for inconsistency, the commission provided no further information regarding the flaws in the rating. At the meeting a week ago, Dr Steven Stokes, an oncologist who chairs the commission and also chairs the commission, said that “the stay is recommended due to the discovery of the potential inconsistency in tabulation of rating data.”
After years of opposition, Alabama lawmakers finally caved in 2021 and approved the establishment of a program that will allow patients with specific medical conditions to use marijuana for treatment. Patients, however, cannot yet obtain it as the state is still formulating guidelines and licensing producers and distributors.