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Breaking: Medical Cannabis Commission finds ‘potential inconsistencies’ in license scoring

An independent review of the scoring metrics could lead to the commission choosing to award the licenses to different entities.

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The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission has issued a stay on all proceedings related to the issuance of medical cannabis licenses after it says it found “potential inconsistencies” in scoring tabulations for awarding licenses.

During this pause in proceedings, the Commission will seek an independent review of all scoring data.

“The Commission will work expeditiously to investigate and identify inconsistencies in the score data” said AMCC Director John McMillan. “Out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending all current procedural timelines until those matters are resolved.” 

The commission just awarded licenses on Monday in a hyper-competitive process for a limited number of licenses, particularly for integrated facilities that oversee the process from seed-to-sale.

Now those licenses are under question and could end up going to different applicants when all is said and done.

The commission contracted with the University of South Alabama to coordinate the application review process and recruited evaluators to assess the scored exhibit items for all 90 applicants. USA utilized 66 evaluators, with experience relevant to the application content, to review one of eight scoring categories: (1) Financial Ability; (2) Business/Management Approach; (3) Operations Plans and Procedures; (4) Facility Suitability and  Infrastructure; (5) Security Plan; (6) Personnel; (7) Quality Control and Testing; or (8) Marketing and Advertising. Each scored exhibit was independently reviewed by two evaluators to assess the applicant’s solvency, stability, suitability, capability, projected efficiency, and experience, both in relation to any baseline set by the Commission as well as in comparison with other applicants.

The stay issued by the Commission impacts the following procedural requirements of the program:

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  • Applicants who were awarded a license on June 12, 2023, are not required to pay the license fee by June 26, 2023.
  • Applicants who were denied award of license on June 12, 2023, are not required to submit a request for investigative hearing by June 26, 2023.
  • Licenses that were awarded on June 12, 2023, will not issue on July 10, 2023.

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

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