On Monday, just over two years since Alabama became the 37th state to legalize medical marijuana, the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission will award licenses to grow, process, test, transport, and dispense the drug in the state for medicinal purposes.
According to the law, at least a quarter of the awardees in all but one category (integrated facility) must be minority-owned—defined as at least 51 percent owned by individuals of African American, Native American, Hispanic, or Asian descent. For the integrated facility category, where up to five licenses will be awarded, the minimum threshold is 20 percent.
The other categories are cultivator (up to 12 licenses will be awarded), processor (up to 4), dispensary (up to 4) secure transporter (no limit), and state testing laboratory (no limit).
About one-third of the 90 applicants qualified by the commission “indicates that the applicant is majority owned and controlled by a minority group,” commission spokesperson Brittany Peters shared in an email.
The commission “will satisfy the minority criteria set by the statute,” Peters wrote. “If this cannot be accomplished in the current offering of licenses, then a future offering of licenses may be necessary.”
All applicants were required to disclose their ownership