Alabama’s medical cannabis licensing process faces controversy as a medical cannabis business applicant accuses the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) of erasing crucial meeting recordings pertinent to its lawsuit against the agency. The ongoing lawsuit, involving multiple companies, adds to the state’s cannabis licensing challenges and raises concerns over evidence preservation.
Alabama Always LLC, along with six other companies, have filed a lawsuit against the AMCC, alleging that the commission inappropriately deleted recordings of its meetings. These recordings could contain essential information relevant to the applicant’s legal case. The lawsuit comes amid a temporary suspension of all proceedings related to medical cannabis licenses issuance after the AMCC discovered potential inconsistencies in scoring data tabulation, raising further questions about the licensing process.
The AMCC has denied erasing any meeting recordings since the lawsuit’s filing and assured that they would not do so while the case remains unresolved. The agency’s practice has been to use these recordings to create written meeting minutes, and according to the Open Records Act, they are not required to retain the recordings once the minutes are approved. Additionally, the AMCC accused Alabama Always of trying to circumvent the court’s position that discovery in the lawsuit is premature and of inappropriately seeking meeting records without an AMCC lawyer present.
Alabama Always contends that the AMCC’s accusations divert attention from the agency’s destruction of potentially relevant evidence. They argue that the AMCC knew the licensing process would be legally challenged since the first case was filed in March, making the preservation of evidence imperative as per established legal norms.
Several other companies, including Capitol Medical LLC, FFD Alabama Holdings LLC, Specialty Medical Products of Alabama LLC, CRC of Alabama LLC, Sustainable Alabama LLC, and Medella LLC, have also joined the litigation against the state, indicating the significance and complexity of the ongoing legal proceedings.
The ongoing legal battle between Alabama Always and the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission raises important questions about transparency, evidence preservation, and the licensing process. As the cannabis industry evolves in Alabama, staying informed about these developments is essential for all stakeholders.