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Alabama Judge Dismisses Verano’s Lawsuit Against Cannabis Regulator, What’s Next for Companies Fighting for Licenses?

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Veranoโ€™s Lawsuit Gets Dismissed, but the Legal Battles Continue

Last week, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge James Anderson ruled to dismiss Verano Holdings Corp.โ€™s lawsuit against the Alabama cannabis regulator. Verano, represented by attorney Saxon Main, claimed that the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) had no right to revoke cannabis licenses. However, the judge disagreed and the case was dismissed. This decision has implications for other companies involved in legal disputes with the AMCC over license allocations.

Veranoโ€™s lawsuit was one of several filed against the AMCC for its flawed medical cannabis licensing process. Verano had initially secured an Integrated Facility License in June, but later lost it due to โ€œscoring errorsโ€ in the application process. The AMCC then awarded the license to another company without providing an explanation. Veranoโ€™s argument was based on the assumption that licenses would be granted, but Judge Anderson pointed out that no licenses were actually issued in the end.

William Somerville, an attorney for Alabama Always LLC, another company in legal disputes with the AMCC, believes that the dismissal of Veranoโ€™s case might benefit their own case. He argues that it shows the commission had the authority to revoke licenses, including those awarded in June and August. Regardless, the AMCC is set to redo the allocation of medical cannabis licenses.

AMCC Adopts New Rules for License Applications

According to Alabama Reflector, the AMCC has adopted new application and licensing rules at its recent meeting. These rules will allow the commission to maintain scores given to previous applications while giving applicants the opportunity to address any deficiencies in a public meeting. This transparent process aims to address the issues raised regarding applications and the scoring process.

Commission chair Rex Vaughn stated that the ongoing litigation with applicants will play a role in determining the selection of license winners. Medella LLC is one of the companies that has sued the commission, alleging defamation over misleading assessments of license candidatesโ€™ criminal backgrounds. Vaughn hopes that license awards can be made by the end of 2023.

Impact on Veranoโ€™s Stock

In other news, Veranoโ€™s shares traded 1.4118% higher at $4.31 per share at the market close on Friday afternoon. This positive price action reflects investor confidence in the companyโ€™s future prospects despite the dismissal of its lawsuit against the Alabama cannabis regulator.

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Photo: Benzinga edit of image by Shutterstock

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