Medical marijuana dispensary licenses blocked in Alabama amid dispute over selection process – The Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A judge temporarily blocked Alabama from issuing licenses to medical marijuana dispensaries amid an ongoing legal battle over how the state selected the winning companies.

Montgomery Circuit Judge James Anderson issued a temporary restraining order late Thursday to stop the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission from issuing licenses to the four dispensaries. The licenses will be on hold while he hears a challenge to the selection process.

The court order is the latest development in an ongoing legal battle that has plagued the start of Alabama’s medical marijuana program. Alabama lawmakers voted to allow medical marijuana in the state in 2021. Commission officials are aiming to make the products available in 2024 after a series of delays.

The ruling affects only the dispensaries. Brittany Peters, a spokeswoman for the commission, said Friday that the commission has issued licenses to other companies that were selected to cultivate, transport, and test marijuana.

The commission next month is set to issue the coveted “integrated” licenses for multifunctional companies that grow, transport and sell medical marijuana. Anderson has not yet ruled on a request to block the issuance of the integrated licenses.

Yellowhammer Medical Dispensaries had sought the pause

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