MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama’s application deadline for medical cannabis dispensaries and other related licenses is looming as the deadline approaches along with the end of the year.

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission received 607 requests for dispensary applications, which are due Friday. As of late last week, AMCC Director John McMillan says they received just one application.

“Frankly, we feel like they’re coming in a little slow, but you never know. The requests came in a big bunch of them at the very end of the deadline, too, so I guess that’s just the way most of us function,” McMillan said.

The licenses available include 12 for cultivators, four for processors, four for dispensaries and five for integrated facilities.

McMillan says he is a bit surprised so few applications have come in.

“Personally, I had thought we would start getting more in like the end of last week. But that wasn’t ’cause I know anything, just a wild guess that people would try to get them in before Christmas,” McMillan said.

The newly formed Alabama Medical Cannabis Association has been growing its membership over the past few months. President Patrick Lindsey says there is no shortage of people planning to apply.

“It’s a huge group. A lot larger than anyone expected. I think there were 133 different applications for integrated, and we probably talked to 90,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey says from what he’s heard from applicants, the process is time-consuming, with some submissions spanning more than 1,000 pages.

“They seem to think it is extremely restrictive and extremely lengthy,” Lindsey said. “Some of them say some of the applications are 1,477 pages.”

McMillan says the rules and regulations for the industry are comprehensive as required by the bill lawmakers passed in 2021. He says the commission so far hasn’t heard any complaints about the process.

Once applications are in, the commission will spend a few months evaluating each one. Licenses are slated to be officially issued on June 12.

Roughly 60 cities and counties have approved ordinances allowing for medical cannabis sales in their jurisdictions.