MONTGOMERY — Montgomery County Circuit Judge James Anderson declined on Thursday a request from the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) to lift a temporary restraining order on proceedings and delay a court hearing on Monday.
Anderson said in a court hearing on Thursday a planned hearing on Monday would still happen despite William Webster, an attorney for AMCC, requesting the court allow the commission to attempt to satisfy at their next meeting "criticisms unwarrantedly leveled" about alleged Open Meetings Act violations.
Anderson placed a temporary restraining order last week on any new AMCC proceedings until at least August 28 over concerns the commission might have violated the state's Open Meetings Act during its meeting on August 10.
The AMCC awarded 24 licenses at the meeting. Attorneys for companies that didn't receive a license argued in court recently that the commission's use of an executive session to nominate some companies violates the Open Meetings Act.
AMCC officials wanted the opportunity to re-award licenses for a third time at their meeting on Aug. 31 without an executive session.
Webster said another court hearing on Monday would likely result in "racking up more and more attorney bills for no good reason."
"There's already discussion about how what we're going to do is not sufficient (and) we're not going to do this and not going to do that. First of all, that is speculative," Webster said at the hearing.
Wilson Green, an attorney for Jemmstone LLC, a company that unsuccessfully sought a license, said at the hearing, "If they go forward on the 31st as Mr. Webster says and they deliberate however they deliberate and they issue new licenses whether they're new licenses or old licenses we're now going to have three sets of licensure issuances that are going to be in active litigation."
"That does not help get medical cannabis to the market. It's just going to compound the delay," Green said.
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