A medical cannabis business applicant is accusing the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) of improperly erasing recordings of its meetings, AL.com reports. The company says the recordings could include information relevant to its lawsuit against the agency.
The lawsuit by Alabama Always LLC and six other firms comes as the state paused all proceedings related to the issuance of medical cannabis licenses in the state after the agency’s “discovery of potential inconsistencies in the tabulation of scoring data.” The administrative hold was announced just days after the state awarded its first medical cannabis licenses.
The AMCC said it has not erased any meeting recordings since the lawsuit was filed on June 22 and would not do so while the case is pending. The agency said its policy has been to use recordings to create written minutes of meetings, and that the Opens Records Act does not require it to keep the recordings after minutes are approved.
The agency also accused Alabama Always of trying to circumvent the court’s position that discovery in the lawsuit is premature and of improperly asking an AMCC employee about meeting records without an AMCC lawyer present, the report says. The AMCC has asked the court to deny Alabama Always’ request for documents and depositions and to restrict company representatives from further contact with AMCC employees outside of the presence of counsel.
Alabama Always argues that the allegation against the AMCC lawyer was an effort to divert attention from the agency’s destruction of potentially relevant evidence in the case and that the AMCC has known the licensing process would be challenged in court since the first case was filed in March. Alabama Always said the requirement to preserve evidence in anticipation of litigation is well established in the law.
Other companies that have joined the litigation against the state include Capitol Medical LLC, FFD Alabama Holdings LLC, Specialty Medical Products of Alabama LLC, CRC of Alabama LLC, Sustainable Alabama LLC, and Medella LLC.
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