MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — While the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission continues to address its recent licensing errors, some companies that were denied business licenses say they would be ready to go almost immediately if the group gave them another shot.
Alabama Always applied for an integrated facility license but was denied at the June 12 meeting. On Thursday, they gave a tour of their facility to media in west Montgomery, showing rows of greenhouse rooms they say would be ready to go in 60 days. The company said they’ve spent more than $5 million on their facility and believe they completely met the application requirements set by the commission, even though no one from the group ever visited the location.
Even without a license, they’re still moving forward with construction, hoping to get one in the second go-around.
“Really the process seems to have failed so completely at this point. We don’t see how we can really be out of it,” Alabama Always Chief Scientific Officer Gregory Gerdeman said.
Lawyers for the company said they want more transparency about how the commission scored them.
“It’s still an absolute mystery. We know nothing about what happened with these scores,” attorney Will Somerville said.
After a status hearing in Montgomery County Court, AMCC Director John McMillan clarified the “tabulation” error that prompted this pause. He said there was no issue with the evaluators’ scores or the Commissions’ scores but somewhere in the combining of them both.
“Just means it was a mathematical error,” McMillan said.
In response to criticism that the commission didn’t visit sites, McMillan said they’re tasked with visits after awarding licenses, but before issuing them. He said it would have been impossible to visit more than 300 sites in the state.
McMillan said a “big four accounting firm,” which he said will be revealed at the next meeting, is currently reviewing the scores.
Based in part on the accounting firm’s review, he said the commission plans to re-award licenses Aug. 10, potentially setting off another set of lawsuits. McMillan said it’s unclear how long this might delay the rollout.
“Tell me how many more lawsuits we’re going to get filed against us when we get through in August. I hope at some point something is going to prevail to consider the patients that desperately need this product instead of ‘How hard can I get after greenbacks?'” McMillan said.
The next meeting is Monday, July 10.