Alabama MMJ Commission Sued Again After Third Licensing Try

Yet another lawsuit has been filed against Alabama medical cannabis regulators, following a third attempt by the state on Friday to award coveted marijuana business permits.

Throughout its multiple rounds, various companies that have applied for medical marijuana business licenses have first won licenses, then lost them, and consequently filed suit. This time around it’s processor Enchanted Green LLC, Law360 reported, which was named as a processor permit recipient in the first round in June, and then again after the second round in August. But the company did not get selected for a permit during the third round last week.

After its license was confirmed in August by the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, Enchanted Green paid the state $40,000 for a license fee, before the commission unjustly changed its procedures and gave the processor permit to a different company, Enchanted alleged in its suit.

“The AMCC’s actions of repeatedly changing rules, criteria, and parameters for applicants, their submissions, and the awarding of processor licenses was and is unconstitutional and cannot be permitted,” Enchanted Green’s suit charges.

According to the lawsuit, commissioners were unsure on Friday of the entire process by which they chose license winners, and even used a tie-breaking method for the processor permits that involved pulling names on pieces of paper out of a bowl to determine consideration order for the applications.

Enchanted Green also alleged that commissioners indicated they had not read additional permit materials the company submitted as part of the third try at licensing by the AMCC.

Enchanted Green claims that the AMCC violated the Alabama Open Meetings Act, the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act, and the Darren Wesley “Ato” Hall Compassion Act, and is asking the court to prevent the AMCC from issuing any permits.

“Throughout the entire application and licensing process, the AMCC did not observe anything remotely resembling due process with respect to its actions, its decisions, and the manner in which it approached the application and licensing process and its treatment of applicants, including plaintiff Enchanted Green,” the lawsuit alleges. “The entire process was bereft of any semblance of due process, order, fairness, or logic, and was handled in nothing less than an arbitrary and capricious manner by the AMCC and its members/commissioners.”

Whether Enchanted Green will have any luck with the courts is an open question, given that several other businesses have sued in recent months over the stop-start confusion in Alabama, with mixed results. Multistate operator Verano Holdings, for instance, first won and then lost an “integrated facility” permit in the same manner as Enchanted Green, but an attempt at getting the license back through litigation fell short.

A whopping 25 companies reportedly filed suit over the process, which in part was what forced the third licensing attempt, so litigation could prove fruitful.


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