MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) – One of the steps in the application for consideration for medical marijuana licensing is passing a background check.
Medella, LLC, a group that applied for one of the state’s integrated licenses, says no one in its company leadership is a felon. However, the group claims the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) erroneously published that the group did not pass the felony background check.
The filing alleges the AMCC website had public records that stated Medella failed due to quote “A -criminal conviction history (felony or controlled-substance-related misdemeanor / 10
Years) … criminal background checks (receipt of results).”
Medella, LLC says this likely prevented them from obtaining an integrated license.
The most recent allegations come as the AMCC faces multiple lawsuits over its handling of the delayed license-issuing process.
Based on the most recently filed amended complaint Medella is now suing for defamation.
The filing states that the commission “knew with reasonable certainty” that the marks regarding the background check “that each of these comments and statements it published as alleged herein, and otherwise, would be known or made known to the
Public, and knew the statements “were false, or made each of these statements in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity.”
Medella claims it asked the commission to acknowledge and retract its false statements on September 4, but the commission did not respond until a week later on September 11.
The AMCC issued a statement regarding the allegations:
The pass/fail notations on the Applicant Summary Report indicate a pass/fail item for which potential issues were identified by Commission members and/or staff during the application review process. The inclusion of any pass/fail notation does not indicate that an applicant “failed” with respect to any noted item. For each notation, Commission members had additional notes and references to application materials and the Commission is responsible for determining the pass/fail status.
There were applicants for whom AMCC did not receive all required criminal background checks (denoted by the “L” designation). Those applicants also received the “A” designation because the criminal background history could not be fully vetted for those individuals whose background checks were not received. The corresponding notes provided to Commission members included information as to which background checks were missing and would have only included information on a disqualifying criminal conviction if such a conviction existed. As noted earlier, the designation(s) on the Applicant Summary Report did not operate as a determination. After receiving inquiry on the matter, AMCC determined that it was appropriate either to clarify the coupling of the “A” and “L” designations or to uncouple them altogether for applicants who were missing background checks and who otherwise had no disqualifying criminal convictions. The latter was done with the updated Applicant Summary Report and accompanying explanation that was published Monday, September 11, 2023 (https://amcc.alabama.gov/cannabis-business-applicants/#evaluation).Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission