MMJ Bid Process In GA Challenged; A University Seeks Help Evaluating Applications; & More Reg. Updates

Zinger Key Points
  • Attorney Kristen Goodman blasts Georgia's Medical Cannabis Commission for "nonsensical" licensing.
  • Judge claps back at Variscite Inc. lawsuit in Los Angeles.

Georgia's MMJ Bid Process Gets Another Review, Losing Parties Cry Corruption

The Georgia Court of Appeals is poised to weigh in on a lawsuit filed by five Georgia-based medical marijuana companies which have challenged the state's medical marijuana licensing process, claiming it was corrupt, reported Fox 5 Atlanta.

The cannabis regulators granted licenses to two companies: Georgia-based Botanical Sciences and Florida-based Trulieve Cannabis Corp. TCNNF.

"The members of the Medical Cannabis Commission knew who the owners were of these companies, who the companies were affiliated with, and they scored in an arbitrary and frankly sometimes nonsensical way," said attorney Kristen Goodman, who represents several of the companies.

Attorney Jake Evans, who is representing some of the plaintiffs, alongside Goodman, convinced the court of appeals, after their clients failed to overturn the bid selection earlier this year, that the whole legal process was flawed.

"It means we're going to have our day in court," Evans said. "It means we're going to hopefully get a fair shake."

Alabama Cannabis Regulators Appoint University To Help With MMJ Applications

Alabama cannabis regulators are seeking additional help to evaluate applications for cannabis licenses, some three months after it began to accept them.

The University of South Alabama is seeking "professionals to review, evaluate and score" license applications according to several categories, including financial ability, business/management approach, operations plans and procedures, facility sustainability and infrastructure, security plan, personnel, quality control and testing, and marketing and advertising.

Those interested may apply via an online application process.

In 2021, Alabama Legislature passed a measure under which a framework for medical marijuana production, sale and use in the state was established, the same as the state's Medical Cannabis Commission which counts 14 members.

Los Angeles Selects 100 More Social Equity Applicants

Los Angeles cannabis regulators recently selected 100 social equity applicants who will have a chance to apply for a cannabis retail license.

"The Lottery was the culmination of nine months of planning, including a verification process that allowed individuals to request verification as a Social Equity Individual Applicant (SEIA)," the city announced. "More than 1,000 individuals requested verification and over 500 SEIAs met the criteria to participate and timely registered to be entered in the lottery. Additional information on the SEIA criteria and process can be found here."

The city's Department of Cannabis Regulation's move comes on the heels of a recent legal hurdle around the whole process.

Variscite Inc. filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles, alleging that the city's social equity lottery violated the dormant commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

However, Judge Sherilyn Peace Garnett said the firm's request for an injunction of the lottery did not meet the standard of preventing "irreparable harm."

Illinois Rec Sales Still Strong Despite Slight Drop In November

Illinois recreational marijuana sales are still strong, despite a 0.8% sequential decrease to $130.5 million in November. Year-over-year, sales increased 8.1%, reported New Cannabis Ventures.

Year-to-date recreational sales hit $1.41 billion, representing a 13.5% growth since January.

Non-residents purchasing power dropped in November, equaling to 30.1% of total sales for the month.

Medical cannabis sales totaled $28.2 million for the same period, representing a 1% sequentially and 10.5% year-over-year decrease.

Total cannabis sales amounted to $158.7 million.

Photo: Benzinga Edit, Source: Shutterstock

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticsSmall CapTop StoriesMarketsGeneralcannabis regulatory updateCourt Of AppealsIllinoisJake EvansKristen Goodmanmarijuana salesmedicalRecreationalUniversity of South Alabama
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