Trulieve Appeals Against Alabama Court-Ordered Pause

The dispute marks the third interruption in the AMCC’s licensing efforts for integrated licenses.

A major player in Alabama’s medical cannabis market, Trulieve Alabama, Inc., has filed an appeal with the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals against a temporary restraining order that has put the state’s medical cannabis licensing process on hold.

The appeal challenges a decision by Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge James Anderson, who brought the state’s medical cannabis licensing process to a standstill earlier this month.

The restraining order was a response to findings from a December hearing, alleging that the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission might have deviated from its own rules in using a ranking system for integrated license applicants. The system reportedly allowed a minority of commissioners to block a license application, despite a majority favoring it.

According to court documents obtained by the Alabama Political Reporter, Trulieve’s (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF) appeal argues that companies should exhaust all administrative options within the AMCC before turning to the courts. The company pointed to an existing internal appeals process designed for such grievances.

However, Judge Anderson, in his ruling, pointed to the ineffectiveness of the internal appeals process in this particular scenario, given the limited number of licenses (five) available and the Jan. 9 overdue deadline for their issuance. The judge expressed concern over the possibility of irreparable harm to applicants if the process proceeded without rectifying these issues.

The dispute marks the third interruption in the AMCC’s licensing efforts for integrated licenses. In response to earlier procedural concerns, the commission had restarted the process twice to correct mistakes.

The case also involves allegations that the commissioners might have violated the state’s Open Meetings Act by discussing applicants and the licensing process outside of public meetings. The plaintiffs have indicated in filings plans to depose several commissioners and AMCC Executive Director John McMillan to probe these claims.

Adam Jackson

Adam Jackson writes about the cannabis industry for the Green Market Report. He previously covered the Missouri Statehouse for the Columbia Missourian and has written for the Missouri Independent. He most recently covered retail, restaurants and other consumer companies for Bloomberg Business News. You can find him on Twitter at @adam_sjackson and email him at adam.jackson@crain.com.


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