More cities voting to support medical marijuana dispensaries

Still a ways to go before medical marijuana dispensaries open
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 11:02 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Interest continues to grow for medical cannabis around the state. So far, around 20 cities including Birmingham and Tuscaloosa have paved the way for medical marijuana dispensaries to eventually open up, according to the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission.

“I’m sure municipalities and counties are hearing a lot from people who are interested in trying to get licenses in this case to locate dispensaries in the city,” John McMillan, Director of the AL Medical Cannabis Commission said. Right now, the commission is accepting business license applications for dispensaries, cultivators, secure transporters among other things. It costs $2,500 to apply. And if accepted, annual license fees range from $30,000 to just over $50,000.

Important info from the AMCC:

Only applicants who submit a Request for Business Application by October 17, 2022, will receive a Business Application Form. The Business Application Forms will issue to requestors on October 24, 2022, and applicants will have until December 30, 2022, to file their application. Several dates, prescribed by the law and AMCC rules, allow for applicants to submit amendments and corrections to their previously filed applications.

There will be an evaluation process which will be extremely competitive with limited number of licenses available. The commission will eventually award the licenses next year. McMillan tells us we won’t see dispensaries on every corner around the state.

“There’s not going to be dispensaries everywhere you look. We believe they’ll be heavily located in our urban areas,” McMillan said.

We’re told certifying physicians will recommend medical marijuana to patients who have been diagnosed with things like autism spectrum disorder, epilepsy or conditions causing seizures, cancer-related pain among other qualifying medical conditions.

The patient side of things is still being worked out. We’re told you will receive a medical cannabis card similar to a driver’s license. That’s after the doctor makes the recommendation. It could be a year or so from now before everything is up and running.

You can learn more about the business application process here.

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