MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) – As the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission may be close to a third round of licensing after two court-ordered suspensions, Director John McMillan is hoping the process moves forward soon.
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McMillan says in hindsight the commission probably would have done some things differently in the process, but for now he just wants patients to have access to medical cannabis as quickly as possible.
McMillan is a director of the AMCC and has many years of experience in state government, including serving as state treasurer, commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Industry and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
He denies allegations that the licensing process lacks transparency.
“I have been working in state government for quite a long time. We have made every effort to be as transparent as possible,” McMillan said.
The companies suing the commission over alleged violations of the Open Meetings Act disagreed about whether it was sufficiently transparent, and a Montgomery County judge has now stayed the case twice.
The plaintiff companies’ lawyers and the Commission are currently in discussions about how to proceed. McMillan offered few details about what might come from the negotiations and whether a third round of licensing is on the table.
“It’s hard to tell. We have been and remain optimistic about the progress so far. Most applicants appear to be ready and interested in obtaining licenses and moving forward with the program, but there are also a few difficult cases,” said McMillan.
McMillan previously estimated the product would be available to patients late this year or early next year. Well, he says it’s in the air.
“Tell me how many more lawsuits we have to deal with? So there’s no way to find out,” McMillan said.
The commission’s next meeting is scheduled for September 19.