The court desires to let the cannabis commission “self-correct” the licensure process. This decision comes after a mathematical error was discovered in the scoring of license applicants. Director John McMillan explained that the error occurred when combining scores from the third-party evaluators and the commissioners themselves.
The parties involved in a lawsuit against the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission recently met for a status conference. One of the outcomes of the conference was the decision to void the awarded licenses and restart the selection process. This will take place at the commission’s meeting on August 10.
The commission has acknowledged the mistake in the tabulation of scores but expressed confidence in the evaluations themselves. Attorney William Webster assured the court that the issue lies primarily in the collation of scores and not the evaluations.
To rectify the situation, a “big four accounting firm” has been brought in to analyze the scoring process. The findings of the firm will be made public during the commission’s scheduled meeting on July 10. The aim is to set a level playing field for all applicants and provide an opportunity for a fair evaluation.
During the conference, there was a discussion about whether site visits should be mandatory before awarding licenses. While counsel for a rejected applicant argued in favor of mandatory inspections, Webster explained the practical challenges of inspecting 90 different applicants within the given timeframe. He emphasized that inspections will be conducted after the awarding of licenses to ensure applicants are meeting the stated requirements.
McMillan also highlighted the importance of on-the-ground inspections. If an applicant is found to be failing to meet the stated requirements or cannot begin the cultivation process within the required timeframe, their license may be revoked and awarded to another applicant.
In summary, the court’s decision to let the cannabis commission self-correct the licensure process aims to resolve the error in scoring and ensure a fair selection of license applicants. By voiding the previous licenses and restarting the selection process, the commission hopes to provide all applicants with an equal opportunity to appeal and address any concerns. The involvement of a reputable accounting firm will contribute to the transparency and accuracy of the process.