MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The pause on medical cannabis licensing continues in Alabama.
Montgomery County Circuit Judge James Anderson on Wednesday extended the temporary restraining order, pausing the issuance of licenses and related deadlines. Both lawyers for the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission and the companies that sued are planning to meet privately next week to work out an agreement on what’s next.
Lawyers of both parties said they don’t have a clear picture at this time what the future of the licensing process will look like. That’s what they said they hope to negotiate.
“I think it’s all kind of up in the air,” Alabama Always attorney Will Somerville said. “We’re just going to be looking for ideas to how to move this thing forward in the way that benefits all the stakeholders, including most importantly the patients.”
Somerville represents Alabama Always, a company that was denied an integrated facility license during both license awards. Alabama Always and other companies sued the commission over possible violations of the Open Meetings Act. They allege the commission’s use of executive sessions for certain deliberations was illegal.
Commission attorney Will Webster said he’s hopeful all sides can reach an agreement to get this industry off the ground.
“We’re encouraged that people are talking, and maybe we can get this medical cannabis out for the people of Alabama quicker,” Webster said.
Lawyers for the companies and the commission said they’ll meet privately Monday to negotiate. The next commission meeting is scheduled Sept. 19. Somerville said he’s doubtful there would be a third round of awards at that meeting.
Commission lawyers told Anderson during the hearing the Sept. 19 meeting will be open without the use of executive sessions.