Members of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) voted to pause all proceedings related to the current offering of medical cannabis business licenses.

The AMCC gave out 21 business licenses on Monday.

Dr. Steven Stokes, a member of the commission, said at a special-called meeting on Friday the stay on proceedings was due to discoveries by commission staff of "potential inconsistencies in the tabulation of scoring data."

"During this pause in proceedings, the commission will seek an independent review of all scoring data," Stokes said. 

 The stay issued by the Commission impacts the following procedural requirements of the program:

  • Applicants who were awarded a license on June 12, 2023, are not required to pay the license fee by June 26, 2023.

  • Applicants who were denied award of license on June 12, 2023, are not required to submit a request for investigative hearing by June 26, 2023.

  • Licenses that were awarded on June 12, 2023, will not issue on July 10, 2023.

“The Commission will work expeditiously to investigate and identify inconsistencies in the score data” AMCC Director John McMillan said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending all current procedural timelines until those matters are resolved.” 

 The stay will remain in effect until lifted by the Commission. Once the stay is lifted, the Commission will reconsider the award of licenses, and provide a timeline for the payment of license fees, request for investigative hearings, and issuance of licenses.

 An AMCC news release earlier in the week announcing the license recipients stated the University of South Alabama (USA) was engaged by AMCC to coordinate the application review process and recruit evaluators to assess the scored exhibit items for all 90 applicants. USA utilized 66 evaluators, with experience relevant to the application content, to review one of eight scoring categories: (1) Financial Ability; (2) Business/Management Approach; (3) Operations Plans & Procedures; (4) Facility Suitability & Infrastructure; (5) Security Plan; (6) Personnel; (7) Quality Control & Testing; or (8) Marketing & Advertising. Each scored exhibit was independently reviewed by two evaluators to assess the applicant's solvency, stability, suitability, capability, projected efficiency and experience, both in relation to any baseline set by the Commission, as well as in comparison with other applicants.

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