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Postponed Conference

The inaugural Alabama Medical Cannabis Conference has been postponed

On Wednesday the Alabama Cannabis Industry Association (ACIA) announced that their inaugural Alabama Medical Cannabis Conference has been postponed after Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) voted in September to stay the issuing of the cannabis licenses. Early indications are that the AMCC will extend their stay until their November meeting.

“The inaugural 2023 Alabama Medical Cannabis Conference was planned to compliment the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, support the licensees, and celebrate the fact that in a few short months Alabamians with a legitimate medical need would finally be able to legally obtain lawfully grown Alabama cannabis to treat their conditions,” the ACIA wrote in a statement. “We anticipated being able to register patients and provide CME credits to physicians.”

“Unfortunately, the ongoing legal drama around the issuing of the license means that at this point in time, holding the conference on October 13, 2023, would be counterproductive,” the ACIA continued. “We, at the Alabama Cannabis Industry Association, have consulted with our advisors, the presumptive licensees, and our legal counsel; and determined that the time is not right to celebrate the legalization of medical cannabis in Alabama as a timeline for issuing the license and getting the industry up and running would be speculative at best right now. The conference has had to be postponed.”

In June, AMCC announced inaugural license awards; then days later stayed the issuing of the licenses. Litigation ensued and in August they did it over again – with some licensees losing their license – in August. That did nothing to satisfy the plaintiffs who have sued the AMCC. Lawsuits and litigants have only multiplied,

“The awardees are concerned that under the present circumstances anything they say and do will be used against them in pending and possible future litigation,” the ACIA continued. T”here is also a strong possibility that the commission may have a new round of license awards and there is presently no clarity in what that will look like or even if the presumptive licensees will all still be awarded licenses if the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission awards licenses for a third time.”

“For these reasons and the fact that building the future medical cannabis grow and process facilities are at a standstill pending the actual issuing of the licenses, we felt we could not move forward with the conference at this time,” the ACIA stated. “All attendees and exhibitors will receive credit toward future events.”

It is expected that the AMCC expects to reissue the license awards at a meeting in November. The issue of who gets the limited number of licenses to grow, process, and dispense medical cannabis in the state of Alabama will likely ultimately be decided by a court and subject to appeal. It likely will not be decided before this year is over.

The ACIA will reschedule when they know more about when licenses will be issued and who the final licensees are.

“Expect more information on upcoming events in the coming months as we all look forward to the day that Alabamians with a diagnosed medical need can finally get the Alabama grown cannabis they need,” the ACIA concluded.

Chey Garrigan is the founder and executive director of the ACIA.

The Alabama Legislature passed, and Governor Kay Ivey (R) signed medical cannabis legalization in 2021. That legislation created the AMCC which was tasked with regulating the industry and making the license awards.



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