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An applicant that sought a medical marijuana license in Alabama filed a defamation suit Wednesday against the state commission that awarded the licenses, claiming the body falsely noted the company included people with a “disqualifying criminal history.”

Medella, LLC., which unsuccessfully applied for an integrated facility license, claimed the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission “plainly and falsely stated” that the company failed the commission’s evaluation due to “criminal conviction history (felony or controlled-substance-related misdemeanor/10 years)” and not providing criminal background checks.

Summaries of all the applicants, which included pass/fail notes, were published on the AMCC website when the licenses were awarded Monday.

As of Wednesday, the applicant summary report did not include a note that Medella’s bid included people with a disqualifying criminal history, but it did contain a notation that the “applicant owners’ criminal history could not be fully verified due to non-receipt of timely criminal background checks in the manner designated by the commission.”

The commission website stated has been revised “to delete the [criminal conviction] reference for the impacted applicants. The prior … reference in the summary report for these applicants should not be construed as evidence of an any criminal background on the part of the applicant, or any individual or other entity associated with the applicant.”

“The pass/fail items and the scored items are independent of each other, and the evaluators had no access to the pass/fail items or any indication of how an applicant may perform on any pass/fail item,” the explanation continued.

Medella said it “submitted a full and complete application” to the commission, ” including all required criminal background investigative reports from the Department of Justice and ALEA in accord with the instructions given by AMCC.”

“Those reports reflected that no owner, director, board member, or individual with a controlling interest in Plaintiff had a disqualifying criminal history,” the company said in its lawsuit filed Wednesday in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

The commission “knew with reasonable certainty that each of these comments and statements it published as alleged herein, and otherwise, would be known or made known to the public, and knew the statements were false, or made each of these statements in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity,” Medella alleged.

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