Alabama’s medical cannabis licensing controversy takes a new turn with upcoming depositions

Lawyers for companies denied medical cannabis business licenses are prepared to interview members of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission about how licenses had been awarded.

This comes after Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge James Anderson approved discovery and depositions.

Lawyers for the companies and the Commission are presently coordinating when the depositions will take place.

Alabama Always is one of these companies. It was refused an integrated facility license three times. That license category was the most sought-after. It enables businesses to handle everything from seed to sale, as well as run five dispensaries.

Alabama's medical cannabis licensing controversy takes a new turn with upcoming depositions

According to Alabama Always Attorney Will Somerville, the purpose of these depositions is to determine how commissioners made their determinations and if they considered legislative requirements–such as whether a corporation could produce cannabis within 60 days.

He said they intend to examine five commissioners and Director John McMillan.

“We think a lot of the applicants they’ve chosen have not been able to satisfy the statutory requirements, so we think the process again needs to be more open, more transparent,” he said.

The court has stopped the issuing of integrated facility and dispensary permits, while all other categories proceed.

Somerville claims they are seeking injunctive relief to prevent the issue of those permits. It is one of several legal conclusions that Judge Anderson may decide.

“It’s going to be largely dependent on what we find out in our depositions,” he said.

Somerville says lawyers are still determining when the depositions will take place, but they have offered February 12 as the start date.

It is uncertain how much this process may cause a delay in product availability.

According to AMCC Communications Director Brittany Peters, “unfortunately, medical cannabis products will be unavailable to patients so long as the Court’s current TRO [Temporary Restraining Order] regarding dispensaries is in place.”

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