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With one day left, Medical Cannabis Commission only has nine applications

Commissioner John McMillan said indicators point to several last-minute applications.

(STOCK)

As of 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, just more than 24 hours ahead of the deadline, the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission had only nine applications returned for licenses.

That’s a tiny fraction of the 600 applications that had been requested, but the commission’s director John McMillan said he expects several more applications to be submitted on the final day.

“It’s kind of hard to understand; if I were a businessman, I wouldn’t wait until the last minute,” McMillan said. “I’m not debating when they should be in, but they better be here by 4:00 p.m. (Dec. 30).”

McMillan said there are a few indications that more applications are coming in today. For one, many more people have gotten a background check with the commission, which is one necessary step towards getting the license.

Additionally, almost 60 municipalities or counties have passed resolutions or ordinances allowing for dispensaries and submitted those documents to the commission.

“The commission doesn’t have anything to do with municipalities passing ordinances,” McMillan said. “(Companies seeking licenses) are carrying that load and meeting with councils, and we have a number of those now. I think for sure we’re going to get plenty of applicants even at the last minute.”

If a municipality or county hasn’t already passed a resolution or ordinance, it’s very unlikely that they will be able to host a dispensary, as that is part of the application process.

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The commission has contracted with the University of South Alabama to evaluate and score the applications and ultimately decide which licenses to grant.

The university will assess several different metrics of applicants including:

  • Financial ability
  • Business/management approach
  • Operations plans and procedures
  • Facility suitability and infrastructure
  • Security plan
  • Quality control and testing
  • Marketing and advertising

McMillan said he expects licenses to be awarded in mid-June with products being ready near the end of 2023 or early 2024.

“We are excited about reaching another deadline that falls in with what we’re trying to do, move on to the next steps and working through the process as required by the legislation,” McMillan said. “Getting these products out there for patients that very much need them.”

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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