Trulieve Alabama License

Trulieve Awarded Alabama’s Only “Minority-Owned” Medical Cannabis License

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission has awarded a license to Trulieve Alabama, Inc., marking it as the sole “minority-owned” business among the five companies selected to pioneer the state’s medical marijuana industry.

Full story after the jump.

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) has awarded integrated licenses to five companies to initiate the state’s medical marijuana industry, as reported by news outlet AL.com. Out of 33 applicants, Trulieve Alabama, Inc. was recognized as the only “minority-owned business” to receive a license.

This decision is part of the implementation of the medical marijuana law passed in Alabama in 2021. The law mandated that at least one of the five licenses be allocated to a company that is at least 51% minority-owned, a requirement that the agency determined was met by Trulieve Alabama.

This development highlights an issue that many entrepreneurs and activists in the cannabis industry have pointed out: when larger corporate entities partner with minority operators to secure licenses under state-level “social equity” provisions. Trulieve–a publicly traded company–was originally founded in Florida and has since expanded into other states, with no shortage of controversy along the way, including the death of employee Lorna McMurrey at one of their Massachusetts locations in January 2022.

The other companies awarded licenses by the AMCC are Sustainable Alabama, LLC; Wagon Trail Med-Serv LLC; Flowerwood Medical Cannabis, LLC; and Specialty Medical Products of Alabama, LLC. These integrated licensees will undertake the cultivation, processing, transportation, and dispensing of medical cannabis.

While the licenses have been awarded, they are scheduled to be issued on January 9, following the completion of necessary procedures including license fee collection and site inspections by the AMCC.

The licensing process has undergone several rounds due to previous procedural issues and litigation. This current awarding is the third attempt by the AMCC, which has made adjustments to its selection process, including conducting open meetings and revising evaluation methods.

Each licensee, including Trulieve Alabama, will be subject to an on-site inspection to ensure facility compliance with state standards. The AMCC has set a provisional timeline, aiming for the availability of medical cannabis products by spring 2024.

The commission’s awarding of licenses also enables physicians to begin the process of certifying patients for medical cannabis use. Patients eligible for medical cannabis must meet specific qualifying conditions as outlined in the legislation. The products permitted under the law include various forms such as gummies, tablets, capsules, tinctures, patches, oils, and others.

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