the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) met Thursday to review applications from business owners wishing to join Alabama’s new cannabis industry.
the meeting Submitting an application to the Commission was December 30th. During 607 groups and individuals requested application formsonly 94 submitted a completed application to the AMCC by the deadline.
The AMCC met and announced that it was reviewing the applications for possible deficiencies.
Chey Garrigan is the President and Founder of Alabama Cannabis Industry Association. Garrigan tells Alabama today that the state had expected more applications than were actually received.
“The numbers speak for themselves. Alabama has been underappreciated by its residents and disregarded by industry leaders,” Garrigan said.
Garrigan cited the difficulty in filling out the forms, the high capital requirements, the restrictions on out-of-state ownership, the lack of smokable products, and procedural questions as to why most potential applicants ultimately decided against applying.
“607 is a small number of interest compared to other states with a limited licensing program,” Garrigan said.
The Alabama Legislature was passed and the Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed Legislation (SB46) Legalization of Medical Cannabis in the Alabama Regular Commission 2021. Only applicants who submitted a business application by the October 17 deadline were eligible to submit a completed business application form by the December 30 deadline.
The legislature intended the law to be the most restrictive in the country.
“Of the 94 who made the deadline, we work with 72 percent of those applicants,” Garrigan said. “We have experienced resume writers who have received multiple licenses in multiple states. They all said Alabama was the most meticulously comprehensive application they had ever seen. I commend the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission and staff.”
The AMCC wrote the rules for the industry over the summer and published the final rules in August. The AMCC began allowing prospective corporate applicants to download application forms on September 1st. Applications to request application forms were closed on October 17th.
The 94 applicants can submit changes and corrections to their applications in the coming months.
“Not only is this the most regulated state in the country, it’s also the most complicated application the industry has ever seen,” Garrigan said. “We will still have time to submit amended applications to make necessary changes. In addition, the Commission examines the applications and asks the applicants to make corrections. Applicants have time to submit a corrected application.”
The number of licenses is strictly limited by law. The Commission may issue up to twelve grower licenses, four processing licenses, four pharmacy licenses, five integrated facility licenses, and an indefinite number of safe transportation and government testing laboratory licenses.
AMCC Director John McMillan told the commissioners that this is the maximum number of licenses they could issue. The Commission does not have to award as many applications.
The University of South Alabama was tasked with reviewing all applications for the commission.
Only individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder; cancer-related pain or nausea; Crohn’s disease; Depression; epilepsy or conditions that cause seizures; HIV/AIDS related nausea or weight loss; panic disorder; Parkinson’s disease; persistent nausea; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); Sickle cell anemia; spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury; Tourett’s syndrome; an incurable disease; or medical conditions that cause chronic or intractable pain may seek a physician’s recommendation for medicinal cannabis.
Alabama law does not permit dispensing of raw plant material or smokable products. Medical cannabis products in Alabama are limited to tablets, capsules, tinctures, gelatin cubes, gels, oils or creams for topical use, suppositories, transdermal patches, nebulizers, or liquids or oils for use in an inhaler. Patients must obtain a state-issued Alabama medical cannabis card.
Law enforcement officials have expressed concern that the legalization of medicinal cannabis will increase the number of disabled people driving on Alabama’s roads.
Alabama’s first legal medicinal cannabis will be available later this year.
The next meeting of the AMCC will be on February 9th at 1pm.
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