MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission is moving forward with what its chairman calls an “aggressive” timeline to distribute licenses.
The process has been bogged down in lawsuits and court restraining orders for the last few months, but commissioners and those vying for a license say they are optimistic once again.
The AMCC voted Thursday to officially rescind the previous licenses and lay out a new timeline that results in licenses issued by the end of the year and product available by spring.
“We see the end coming, and that was where we needed to be,” AMCC Chairman Rex Vaughn said.
Vaughn said starting Nov. 27, applicants will be re-evaluated based on presentations they make to the commission and the application scores from the University of South Alabama. Those scores have come under criticism in the lawsuits, with some arguing the commission shouldn’t use them at all.
Vaughn said it’s up to each commissioner to decide how or if to factor in the scores.
“If a commission member chooses to disregard the previous scoring done by South Alabama, they can do that,” Vaughn said.
The expedited timeline has given some previously denied applicants new hope, like Antoine Mordican, who’s been a hemp farmer since 2019. Mordican applied for a cultivator license and said he looks forward to presenting to commissioners.
“It’s like their third fresh air under my wings,” Mordican said.
The new timeline has also given possible patients, like Amanda Taylor, who has multiple sclerosis, optimism.
“Hearing how everything is going to be laid out, there’s not really room for error this time, so I actually leave here with even more hope than I did last time,” Taylor said.
Under the new timeline, the commission plans to have all licenses awarded by Dec. 12 and expects the product to be available by March 2024 at the earliest.