HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Proponents of medical cannabis had to go a long way to persuade the Alabama legislature to make it legally available in the state.
Now, more than a year after the legislature approved a program to grow, process, and distribute medical marijuana, the licensing process is in full swing.
There are many interested companies and a key deadline is approaching.
Last month saw the deadline for filing an application and December 31 is the application deadline, according to the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC). The commission hasn’t officially announced when medical marijuana will be available, but given that the commission won’t vote on licensing awards until June 12, it looks like it will be late 2023 at the earliest before availability.
The GCCA accepts applications in six main areas, including cultivation, processing, dispensaries, laboratory testing, distribution and integrated facilities. The licenses aren’t cheap, a grower license costs $40,000 to get started, as does a dispensary license and an embedded installer license costs $50,000, but there are plenty of applicants.
There are 133 applicants for five licenses for an integrated facility, which includes everything from cultivation and processing to distribution and transportation. These licenses authorize five dispensaries per license.
State records show that there are 124 grower or producer applications for 12 licenses.
There are four licenses available to become a processor — those who process cannabis into medical marijuana — and the state reports there are 35 applicants.
Dispensary, essentially distribution and sales, is the most popular category, with 239 applicants for 4 licenses – although each licensee can establish 3 dispensaries.
There are no license limits for lab test sites – but there are seven applicants, and secure transport has 69 applicants and no limits on licenses.
Jefferson County has the most applications in the listed areas at 131. Residents of Montgomery County are second in applications filed at 51 and Madison County has 49 applications, including 28 for dispensaries, 8 for integrated facilities and three for candidate farmers.
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