More Licensing Wrinkles in Alabama

Some parties believe their applications were disqualified by an incorrect designation.

Yet another wrinkle has arisen amid Alabama’s attempts to sort out its ongoing and contentious medical marijuana licensing process, with some stakeholders claiming they were now wrongly discredited as having owners with felony convictions.

Some licensees believe they were essentially disqualified from consideration for licensure due to an error on some of the license application scoring forms, which appear now to have mistakenly indicated that those companies were led by ex-cons, according to WBRC.

“Multiple affected applicants believe they were unfairly dismissed from license consideration because of … inaccurate pass/fail designations,” WBRC reported, without naming specific license applicants.

Until Monday, WBRC reported, the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission’s business records had listed seven license applicants with an “A” notation reportedly designated “Criminal Conviction History (felony or controlled-substance-related misdemeanor/ten years).”

But early this week, the website was updated, and all but one of those notations were removed, WBRC reported.

A commission spokesperson told WBRC that the earlier “A” notation “should not be construed as evidence of an any criminal background on the part of the applicant,” but was only “because the criminal background history could not be fully vetted for those individuals whose background checks were not received.”

The confusion has only added to ongoing chaos and litigation over the months-long licensing process, which began in June and was then redone in August. The results have sparked two different lawsuits to date, including one from multistate operator Verano Holdings Corp. (CSE: VRNO) (OTCQX: VRNOF), which lost a license in the August permit redo.

The commission has been negotiating with stakeholders in an attempt to find a resolution so the state can launch its medical cannabis market.

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