MONTGOMERY — Members of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) will re-award licenses at their next meeting on Thursday.

Montgomery Circuit Court Judge James Anderson allowed the AMCC on Monday to continue with its plans to award business licenses to cannabis companies this week despite requests from a couple of businesses to issue a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order to halt the process.

William Webster, an attorney for the AMCC, said at a hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse on Monday that the commission still plans to meet later this week.

“We’re still having a meeting on the 10th. All of the information that was supposed to have been provided has now been provided to the commission and all that has been disseminated to each one of them so that they’re aware of all of that prior to meeting on the 10th,” Webster said.

An agenda for the AMCC meeting states they’ll be meeting to discuss the awarding and denial of license applications.

Licenses were previously awarded by the commission in June. Shortly after the licenses were announced, the commission put a stay on proceedings due to discoveries by commission staff of "potential inconsistencies in the tabulation of scoring data." The commission also suspended the issuance of previously awarded licenses. Multiple cannabis companies, including Alabama Always, that didn't receive licenses from the commission in June, are currently suing AMCC. 

The annual license fees range from $30,000 to $50,000, depending on the type.

Anderson also ruled on Monday that the public including license applicants were allowed under the First Amendment to communicate with members of the AMCC. Under a previous rule, applicants were barred from contacting commissioners

“My client was pleased with the ruling by Judge Anderson on our First Amendment filing – allowing anyone to speak to members of the Commission, as it should be. This is a step in the right direction for more transparency in this process,” William Somerville, an attorney for Alabama Always, told 1819 News. “We also are looking forward to the next steps by the Commission at Thursday’s meeting. We hope the Commission will be following the law exactly as it is written pertaining to medicinal cannabis in Alabama.”

An AMCC spokeswoman didn’t return a request for comment on Monday.

In other recent AMCC news, former AMCC chairman Dr. Steven Stokes resigned last week after a lawsuit questioned whether he was legally allowed to serve simultaneously on both the commission and the University of South Alabama board of trustees.

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