Two cannabis companies appealed a ruling in Montgomery County Circuit Court last week that allowed the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) to consider scoring evaluations it used previously for a third time to award cannabis licenses in December. 

AMCC members rescinded their previous medical cannabis business license awards and denials and adopted new procedures provided through emergency rules at meetings in October.

Attorneys for Alabama Always and Specialty Medical Products of Alabama, two companies that weren’t awarded integrated facility licenses in previous rescinded rounds this year, appealed last week’s ruling by Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge James Anderson that lets the AMCC consider applicant scores when deciding who to award licenses to in December.

“The new procedures retain the previous score results while also providing applicants with an opportunity to make a presentation to the Commission regarding matters identified in their application and their score results,” William Somerville, an attorney representing Alabama Always, told 1819 News on Thursday. “We believe that the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission’s scoring system is improper and exceeds the commission’s authority under the Darren Wesley ‘Ato’ Hall Compassion Act. The Commission should be barred from using the scores, as the scoring system appears designed to award license applicants who just simply cannot cultivate cannabis in 60 days, as the statute mandates. Dispensing with the scores is the best way to make sure patients in Alabama who can benefit from medical cannabis get the help they so desperately need.” 

The appeal will go to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals.

AMCC Chairman Rex Vaughn said in October the Commission would be the primary decision maker when choosing who gets a license.

Oliver Washington, CEO of Southeast Cannabis Company, which was awarded an integrated facility license in previous rounds before they were rescinded, told 1819 News, “We strongly believe that the Commission has good intentions and needs to be allowed to proceed forward under the plan adopted in October, which includes in-person presentations, without further delay from the courts.”

“Since day one, we have supported the Commission’s scoring process. We believe this was good for Alabama’s citizens and a well-done model for the nation. We also appreciate some of the recent changes advocated by Alabama Always, which will allow a formal in-person presentation to the Commission, but this appeal is not right. While we understand the appellants’ reasons for and pursuit of such appeal, the timing is not right as the denial of the (temporary restraining order) is not appealable,” Washington said.

The Commission is scheduled to award cultivator, processor, dispensary, secure transporter, and state testing laboratory licenses on December 1. The Commission will award integrated facility licenses on December 12.

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