MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission will be in court once again on Monday.
Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge James Anderson will hear arguments over whether the Commission violated the Open Meetings Act at its last meeting.
Those hoping to be involved in the industry, from businesses to clientele, say they just want these proceedings to move forward quickly.
The delays haven’t just affected patients who could benefit from the product, but they’ve created uncertainty for businesses that were awarded licenses.
Brian Henry’s Birmingham-based transport company XLCR was awarded a secure transporter license at the Aug. 10 meeting. He says his business, and others, have been left in limbo over what’s next.
“I’m not sure when the first shipment is going to happen and really, I don’t think that clock’s even started yet,” Henry said.
He says the company, which has been around since the 1960s providing a diverse range of transport services, won’t be heartbroken if they don’t get to keep the license. He’d rather the focus be on patients who need the product.
“We don’t make money doing this now, so this is a new venture for us, so if it doesn’t work out but we still get to have the prescriptions in the state of Alabama, we’ll be OK with that,” Henry said.
Chey Garrigan also wants this process to move faster. She’s a founding director of the Alabama Cannabis Industry Association, a group meant to bring together businesses, doctors and patients to collaborate on how this new industry will work.
She says in talking with doctors, patients are the ones losing out.
“I’ve had a doctor tell me, you know, ‘When are we going to get this going? I cannot continue to give my patients pain medication. They’re not responding to it.’ So, the longer the lawsuit goes, the more irate I think people will become,” Garrigan said.
Garrigan is also planning the state’s first cannabis conference in Birmingham this October. She’s confident legal issues will be sorted out by then.
“There’s too much of that going on that the residents aren’t going to be able to take too much. This is it. We’re coming to an end. Three times a charm,” Garrigan said.
The hearing over the Open Meetings Act allegation is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Monday in Montgomery County Circuit Court.