ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) — The Athens City Council has voted to keep an ordinance that would allow medical cannabis dispensing sites within city limits, if the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission issues any permits in the future.

On Monday, the City Council met for a special session to vote on an ordinance to repeal Ordinance 2022-2245.

The agenda for Monday’s special called meeting.

Ordinance 2022-2245 was just passed in November of 2022. When it was passed, it was done so by a unanimous City Council vote, and support of Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks.

On Monday, the council did not pass the new ordinance which would repeal the current ordinance, Ordinance 2022-2245.

Councilmembers Wayne Harper and Harold Wales voted to rescind the current ordinance. Councilmembers Dana Henry and James Lucas voted against rescinding the current ordinance. Councilmember Chris Seibert abstained from the vote.

The ordinance to repeal Ordinance 2022-2245 did not pass, because there was not a majority vote.

This vote comes one week before the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) will distribute its initial round of Medical Cannabis Business Licenses.

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission will distribute six different types of licenses on June 12th. There are an extremely limited number of licenses that will be awarded for most types of licenses.

The type and number of licenses for each type:

  • Integrated Facility: 5
  • Cultivator: 12
  • Processor: 4
  • Dispensary: 4
  • Secure Transporter: No license limits
  • State Testing Lab: No license limits

The AMCC is considering 18 applicants for the four dispensary licenses. You can click here to see the applications for each license type that are being considered by the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission.

Of the 18 applicants listed, none appear living in or hope to operate in Athens or Limestone County. However, a few of the applications contain redacted information, unviewable by News 19. News 19 has reached out to the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission to see if these redacted applications have any connection to Limestone County.

While Monday’s vote opens the door for future medical cannabis businesses to operate in Athens, there are currently no business applications being considered for licenses in Athens.

In an email with News 19, Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks, said the ordinance that was voted on today can be considered a “dead issue”.