MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) on Thursday passed new rule changes relating to pending license applications that will likely mean voiding the recently awarded licenses and redoing the process for a third time.

The AMCC initially awarded licenses in June. However, implementation of the new medical cannabis industry has been held up by evaluation scoring errors and lawsuits by companies that didn’t receive one of the sought-after licenses.

According to the AMCC, the newly adopted procedures retain the previous score results while also providing applicants with an opportunity to present to the Commission regarding matters identified in their application and their score results. Applicants will also be allowed to respond to preliminary pass/fail items identified by the Commission and submit exhibits not previously filed due to the file size limitation in the application portal.

“We believe that the actions taken today will strengthen the existing rules and process implemented by the Commission,” AMCC Chairman Rex Vaughn said. “There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to satisfy all parties, but we feel that the Court will see these changes as reasonable and responsible. We hope that everyone will agree to let this process continue in the shared goal of delivering medical cannabis products to patients who so desperately need it.”

Alabama Always, an unsuccessful applicant for an integrated facility license, alleged in Montgomery County Circuit Court in August the Commission violated the Open Meetings Act in its August meeting where it awarded licenses. The Commission denies wrongdoing. The lawsuit is still ongoing.

Alabama Always has Robert Tornello and his company, 3 Boys Farm, in Florida, listed in “commercial horticulture or agronomic production experience” in their application to AMCC. 3 Boys Farm received a medical marijuana license from Florida in 2017 after suing the state of Florida in 2016.

In other AMCC news this week, a Montgomery County Circuit Judge dismissed a lawsuit against the Commission by Verano Alabama, a company initially awarded a license in June. However, the Commission voided that round of license awards and didn’t award Verano a license during the second round of awards in August.

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