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Medical cannabis license dispute heads to court in Montgomery tomorrow

These lawsuit are just the latest in a string of legal challenges against the AMCC, painting a picture of a regulatory body struggling with transparency and fairness.

Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission

In the latest twist in Alabama’s medical cannabis saga, a group of companies, including Southeast Cannabis, TheraTrue 3 Notch Root, Alabama Always, and Jemmstone, are set to make their case in the Montgomery Circuit Court tomorrow. They’re challenging the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission’s recent approach to awarding integrator medical cannabis licenses, a move that has stirred significant controversy in the industry.

The lawsuits against the AMCC and its members first seeks a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief, including a preliminary injunction, arguing that the commission’s licensing decisions were marred by procedural flaws and deviations from their own rules. The crux of their complaint involves a meeting held on December 12, where, according to Jemmstone, the AMCC veered off course, suspending its rules mid-meeting and engaging in questionable application scoring and electronic file handling.

A particularly thorny issue is the “10MB limitation” on the AMCC’s application portal, deemed insufficient for detailed submissions like security maps. Jemmstone claims that while some applicants found ways around this limit, it was left at a disadvantage. The lawsuit also points fingers at the use of scoring from the University of South Alabama, a decision that sparked debate among applicants over its procedural legitimacy.

This lawsuit is just the latest in a string of legal challenges against the AMCC, painting a picture of a regulatory body struggling with transparency and fairness. Jemmstone is calling for a halt to any actions based on the disputed December 12 awards and is shining a light on broader issues in Alabama’s medical cannabis regulation.

Meanwhile, Alabama Always, LLC has requested expedited discovery in its own legal battle with the AMCC. Alabama Always is challenging the Commission’s internal pre-meeting discussions and decision-making processes. They’re specifically targeting alleged violations of the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act and the Open Meetings Act, suspecting that commissioners may have engaged in private meetings that predetermined their public votes.

Alabama Always relying on legal precedents is making a strong case for the necessity of this discovery. They argue that without it, they can’t adequately respond to the Commission’s denial of their license application – a decision they view as a contested case under the law.

Adding to the legal maelstrom, 3 Notch Roots, LLC has filed a motion to consolidate its lawsuit with the Alabama Always lead case as has Jemmstone. The rationale? They’re challenging the same actions of the AMCC, already under scrutiny in the consolidated Alabama Always case.

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All these legal moves are setting the stage for a significant judicial showdown. The outcomes of these cases could not only shape the future of the medical cannabis industry in Alabama but also potentially redefine administrative compliance and transparency in the state. As the companies prepare to present their arguments in court, the industry and legal observers alike are watching closely, anticipating the ripple effects these decisions could have.

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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