ALABAMA (WHNT) — A Montgomery judge has postponed a July 13 hearing in lawsuits by two companies over licensing by the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission.

The delay will give the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) more time to complete an independent review of its application process – which some argue is flawed.

The state medical cannabis commission awarded 21 licenses on June 12, but a few days later, the commission halted the process after finding, “potential inconsistencies in the tabulation of scoring.”

Shortly after, some vendors seeking licenses – Hornet Medicinals and Alabama Always LLC -filed lawsuits.

Things are on hold because the AMCC found those potential inconsistencies in how third-party evaluators rated the applications. The application process was primarily handled by a group of graduate students at the University of South Alabama.

The AMCC did not oppose the stay put in place by Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge James Anderson during a hearing on June 23.

The commission does not expect its independent review to be finished by July 13, according to the request to postpone the hearing.

The AMCC will issue licenses for cultivators, processors, transporters, testing labs, dispensaries, and integrated companies. Alabama Always LLC applied for an integrated license. Hornet Medicinals applied for a processor license.

The big question is what – if any- impact will these legal issues have on the availability of medical marijuana.

You may recall, the state was on track to start offering medicinal cannabis products in 2024.
The timeline now remains unclear, but what we do know is this litigation has the potential to cause a restart of the application process, and that definitely could mean delays in medical marijuana product availability.