Third Lawsuit Filed Over Alabama’s Bungled Cannabis Licensing Process

In the third lawsuit brought against the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission over its handling of the medical cannabis application process, Medella LLC is accusing the agency of wrongfully implying that one of the company’s owners or senior directors had a criminal record.

Full story after the jump.

The embattled Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) is facing another lawsuit tied to its medical cannabis application process, WBRC reports. Medella LLC is suing the agency for defamation claiming the AMCC evaluations implied, inaccurately, that one of the company’s owners or senior directors had a criminal record. 

The overview of applicant evaluations submitted to the AMCC included a column labeled “Pass/Fail Items noted,” with letters of the alphabet included to indicate different kinds of pass/fail issues. The letter “A,” according to the summary given to Commissioners, indicated “Criminal Conviction History (felony or controlled-substance-related misdemeanor /ten years).” Medella is listed with an “A” in that summary, despite not having any ownership or senior members with such a conviction. 

The AMCC on Monday updated its website with a new version of the evaluations which removed the letter “A” from all but one applicant, including Medella. The AMCC defended Medella’s inclusion on the original, published, evaluation saying the “A” designation was due to the agency not receiving all of the company’s required criminal background checks. 

The lawsuit is asking a judge to issue an injunction prohibiting the Commission from “continuing to make defamatory statements against” the company and is seeking damages.  

The AMCC is facing two additional lawsuits – one stemming from its alleged failure to follow the state’s open meetings law, and another from Verano Holdings which claims regulators had no right to revoke prior medical cannabis licenses it had awarded.  

Late last month, regulators said they planned to “start back at square one” in the licensing process – and would follow the open meetings law guidelines. The agency then announced an administrative stay on the licensing process.   

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