DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — The deadline for Alabama business owners to submit an application to operate as a medical cannabis dispensary has come and gone — but some say the task for approval is daunting.
The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) says 94 applications were submitted by those seeking licenses to dispense medical cannabis products. That’s a sharp increase from the originally reported nine applications.
Business owners claim the paperwork was the reason for the delay.
“The process was very tedious,” said Joey Robertson, president of Wagon Trail MedServ. “In all, we anticipated between 500 and maybe 800 pages of paperwork, to begin with getting ready for the application. We came closer to 1,500 pages.”
Wagon Trail MedServ, a hemp farm in Hanceville, was approved by the Decatur City Council just two days before the application deadline. The commission received several types of applications — cultivator, processor, transporter, testing, and dispensary.
“We’re going after the integrated license which encompasses everything from cultivation to production to all the way through dispensing,” Robertson explained. “It’s a seed-to-sale solution essentially.”
The Alabama Cannabis Coalition (ACC), an advocacy group that supports the legalization of citizens growing their own marijuana for pain management use, told News 19 even with the difficult application process completed — the State of Alabama still has far to go before it catches up to programs in other states.
“It’s way past the time that patients in the State of Alabama, the citizens, have access t medical cannabis because there’s so many things out there that [it] cures,” said Marty Schelper, president of the Alabama Cannabis Coalition.
“We just believe that it’s not enough,” he continued. “We believe that the citizens in the State of Alabama be allowed to grow their own medicine.”
AMCC is scheduled to award licenses as early as June 12.