As of 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, more than 24 hours before the deadline, the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission had returned only nine applications for licenses.
That’s a tiny fraction of the 600 applications that have been requested, but commission director John Macmillan said he expects many more to be submitted on the final day.
“It’s kind of hard to understand; if I were a businessman, I wouldn’t wait until the last minute,” Macmillan said. “I’m not arguing when they should be here, but they’d better be here by 4:00 p.m. ).”
Macmillan said there are some indications more applications are coming today. For example, many people have had a background check with the commission, which is a necessary step toward obtaining licensure.
In addition, nearly 60 municipalities or counties have issued ordinances or ordinances authorizing dispensaries and have submitted those documents to the commission.
“The commission has nothing to do with municipal ordinances,” Macmillan said. “(Companies seeking licenses) carry that load and meet with the boards, and we have a number of them now. I definitely think we’re going to get a lot of applicants even at the last minute.”
If the municipality or county has not already issued an ordinance or ordinance, it is very unlikely that they will be able to host a dispensary, as this is part of the application process.
The committee contracted with the University of South Alabama to evaluate and register applications and determine which licenses it would eventually grant.
The university will assess several different measures of applicants including:
- Financial capability
- Business/management approach
- Operations plans and procedures
- Suitability of the facility and infrastructure
- security plan
- Quality control and testing
- Marketing and advertising
Macmillan said it expects licenses to be awarded in mid-June, with products ready towards the end of 2023 or early 2024.
“We’re excited to come up with another deadline that aligns with what we’re trying to do, move to the next steps and work through the process as required by the legislation,” McMillan said. “Bring these products out to patients who need them most.”