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Alabama’s troubled medical cannabis licensing process has hit yet another roadblock as a judge has issued a temporary hold on issuing licences.

Late on Wednesday evening (January 03, 2024), Montgomery Circuit Judge James Anderson issued a temporary restraining order preventing the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) from issuing any further ‘integrated’ licences.

This marks the latest development in a long-running controversial legal battle between the AMCC and the state’s cannabis operators.

As Business of Cannabis reported last month, the AMCC succeeded in awarding licences to five vertically integrated medical cannabis facilities, following two earlier failed attempts to award the licences last year.

Trulieve Alabama, Sustainable Alabama, Wagon Trail Med-Serv, Flowerfood Medical Cannabis and Speciality Medical Products of Alabama, were awarded the covered integrated licences, giving them the green light to cultivate, process, transport and sell cannabis.

Its selection process once again proved controversial, seeing further lawsuits against the regulator filed by those companies not selected by the regulator.

Now these licences, due to be issued this month, have been put on hold while the judge hears a challenge to the selection process.

Judge Anderson said he is sympathetic to concerns about delaying the availability of medical marijuana but said a pause on the licenses is merited.

Last week, the judge also put a hold on licences for dispensaries in order to hear a similar challenge.

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