Chair of Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission resigns

Alabama Cannabis Commission Chairman
Alabama Cannabis Commission Chairman(WTVY)
Published: Aug. 3, 2023 at 11:38 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2023 at 1:56 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -The embattled chairman of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, Dr. Steve Stokes, has resigned. His resignation comes just over a week after a Montgomery attorney asked a judge to issue a writ of quo warranto, removing him from that position.

Plaintiff Kimberly Holcomb, through her attorneys, claims the state law that set up the AMCC prohibits “any public official” from being a Commission member, and says Stokes’ role as a member of the University of South Alabama Board of Trustees and his recent re-appointment to a seat on that board violates that part of the medical cannabis law.

Dr. Stokes told WBRC last Friday he would not resign, rejecting claims of a conflict of interest and saying he had been vetted for the chairmanship before his nomination.

The AMCC is embroiled in multiple lawsuits over the process the Commission used to issue the first-of-their-kind licenses for medical cannabis in June. Licenses that were paused then rescinded within days after the AMCC admitted it had found “tabulation errors” in the scoring system used to grade applicants for the limited number of medical cannabis licenses.

Stokes has also faced criticism from some applicants for what they call a conflict of interest when the commission voted to hire the University of South Alabama (USA) to score the applications, though Stokes has denied any conflict of interest and pointed out he recused himself from the vote to hire USA.

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The Medical Cannabis Commission is scheduled to next meet on August 10, where the Commission and its Executive Director John McMillan have said they hoped to be able to reveal the results of a re-scoring of the license applications by accounting firm KPMG, and issue new licenses.

Dr. Steven H. Stokes released a statement to WBRC regarding his resignation from the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission.

William Somerville, the attorney who filed this court challenge, also released a statement:

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