Alabama’s Plan to Void and Reissue Medical Cannabis Licenses Attracts Another Lawsuit

Following litigation related to its voiding and revoking of medical cannabis licenses two weeks ago, the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission was hit with another lawsuit claiming the agency had no right to revoke the licenses in the first place.

Full story after the jump.

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) is set to, again, void and revoke the licenses it awarded two weeks ago with plans to re-award them during the same meeting without going into an executive session, according to a court filing outlined by the Alabama Political Reporter. The use of the executive session in awarding the previous round of licenses is the subject of a lawsuit brought by several cannabis companies.  

The AMCC on Monday was also hit with a lawsuit by Verano Holdings which claims that the agency had no right to revoke any licenses, including the one it had awarded the company in the first round of licensing in June, according to an Alabama Reflector report. Verano claims the agency’s move to rescind and re-award the licenses “both exceeds and conflicts with the authority provided to it by the Alabama Legislature.” 

“Regardless of the commission’s intent when it decided to issue the stay and subsequently ‘re-award’ the licenses, its 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. As such, Verano Alabama’s awarded license remains valid.” — Verano, in the lawsuit, via the Reflector 

Because Verano was not included in the second round of licensing, the company is not set to receive a license in the upcoming meeting which will see the licenses again revoked and re-awarded.  

It’s also unclear whether the AMCC’s approach will satisfy the plaintiffs in the lawsuit concerning the agency’s use of the executive session. The companies in that lawsuit allege that the agency violated the state’s open meetings law with its use of the executive session during the previous awarding of licensing. John McMillan executive director of the AMCC had defended the board’s use of the session, saying it “had a number of pass, fail issues, background checks, and issues” that were all part of the decision to hold the closed-door session. A judge put a hold on the state’s medical cannabis program last week due to the lawsuit. 

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