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Alabama Cannabis License Consulting Firm

Alabama Cannabis License Consulting Firm

Alabama Cannabis License Consulting Firm

In May 2021, Alabama officially legalized medical cannabis by passing the Medical Cannabis Compassion Act (SB46)! The state will now allow patients to purchase medical cannabis and for businesses to grow, process, and sell medical cannabis in Alabama.

Are you an entrepreneur or investor who wants to start a cannabis business in Alabama? Are you familiar with what it takes to win an Alabama Cannabis License? Firstly, you’ll need a license to operate a medical cannabis business in Alabama, and the process for winning a marijuana license is extremely competitive.

In this article, our Alabama Cannabis License Consulting Firm provides an overview of the various medical cannabis licenses in Alabama. Our cannabis application experts in Alabama also give best practices for winning a cannabis business license in Alabama. Thus, the first step in applying for an Alabama marijuana business license is to choose the type of license you want to apply for.

Types of Alabama Medical Cannabis Licenses

Thus, the first step is learning about the types of Alabama cannabis business licenses.  Alabama will issue four types of medical marijuana licenses:

  • Cultivator License
  • Processor License
  • Dispensary License
  • Secure transporter License
  • Integrated Facility License (aka Vertically Integrated License)
  • Testing Laboratory License

Important to note, Medical Cannabis Cultivation Licenses will be governed by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. On the other hand, the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission will regulate and oversee the Alabama Processor, Dispensary, Secure Transporter, and Testing Laboratory Licenses.

For further insights into each Alabama medical cannabis license, below our cannabis license application experts provide a description of each marijuana license in Alabama. To speak with one of our cannabis consultants in Alabama, click the button below and we will answer any questions you may have.

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Medical Cannabis Cultivation License in Alabama

To begin, I’ll describe the Alabama Cannabis Cultivation License. According to the Alabama Medical Cannabis Compassion Act,   a medical cannabis cultivator license authorizes all of the following:

  • The cultivation of cannabis;
  • The sale or transfer of cannabis to a processor; and
  • If the cultivator contracts with a processor to process its cannabis into medical cannabis on the cultivator’s behalf, the sale or transfer of medical cannabis to a dispensary.

Important to note, that the cultivator license authorizes the cultivator to transfer cannabis only by means of a secure transporter. In other words, cultivators must use a licensed secure transporter (see below for a description of Secure Transporter Licenses) to transport their cannabis when it is sold to a processor, dispensary, and also testing laboratories.

Unfortunately, the state hasn’t decided the exact number of Alabama Medical Marijuana Cultivation Licenses that they will issue. However, they have stated that they will issue at least four medical cannabis cultivation licenses in Alabama.

Medical Cannabis Processor License in Alabama

Next, the Alabama Medical Cannabis Processor License allows a business to:

  • Purchase or transfer of cannabis from a cultivator.
  • Processing of cannabis into “medical cannabis” shall include properly packaging and labeling medical cannabis products, in accordance with this section.
  • Sale or transfer of “medical cannabis” to a dispensary.

Put simply, the Processor License in Alabama permits a business to buy flowers from cultivators and process the flower into medical cannabis products which can then be sold to cannabis retailers.

For those interested in a cannabis processor license in Alabama, you may be wondering what exactly is meant by a “medical cannabis product”? 

Glad you asked. As defined by the Alabama Medical Cannabis Compassion Act, medical cannabis (products) mean a medical-grade product in the form of any of the following that contains a derivative of cannabis for medical use by a registered qualified patient:

  1. Oral tablet, capsule, or tincture.
  2. Gelatinous cube, gelatinous rectangular cuboid, or lozenge in a cube or rectangular cuboid shape.
  3. Gel, oil, cream, or other topical preparation.
  4. Suppository.
  5. Transdermal patch.
  6. Nebulizer.
  7. Liquid or oil for administration using an inhaler.

However, the term does not include any of the following:

  1. Raw plant material.
  2. Any product administered by smoking, combustion, or vaping.
  3. A food product that has medical cannabis baked, mixed, or otherwise infused into the product, such as cookies or candies.

In other words, a marijuana processor license in Alabama does not allow you to produce vape cartridges, concentrates, or cannabis-infused foods.

Similar to the Alabama cultivation license, a marijuana processor license in Alabama requires a business to use a secure transporter licensee to transport your products to and from your facility.

The commission shall issue no more than four marijuana processor licenses. Was this information clear? In either case, please feel free to reach out to our Alabama Cannabis License Consulting firm to learn more about business opportunities for processors in Alabama.

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Medical Cannabis Dispensary License in Alabama

Third, we have the Alabama medical marijuana dispensary license. The cannabis dispensary licenses in Alabama authorizes a business to:

  • Purchase or transfer medical cannabis from a processor.
  • If a cultivator contracted with a processor to process its cannabis into medical cannabis on the cultivator’s behalf, the purchase or transfer of medical cannabis from the cultivator.
  • Purchase or transfer medical cannabis from an integrated facility.
  • Dispense and sell medical cannabis only to a registered qualified patient or registered caregiver.

Again, a dispensary license authorizes the dispensary to transfer medical cannabis only by means of a secure transporter, including transport between its dispensing sites.

As stated in Alabama’s Medical Cannabis Compassion Act (SB46), the commission shall issue no more than four dispensary licenses.

Medical Cannabis Secure Transporter License in Alabama

At this point, we’ve mentioned the Medical Cannabis Secure Transporter License in Alabama several times. But, we have not discussed what the license actually allows you to do.

As stated in the act, a secure transporter license authorizes the licensee to store and transport cannabis and medical cannabis for a fee upon request of a licensee. A Secure Transporter license in Alabama does not authorize transport to a registered qualified patient or registered caregiver.

Put differently, the cannabis Secure Transporter License in Alabama allows you to transport cannabis between cannabis businesses. In contrast, it DOES NOT allow you to deliver medical marijuana and products directly to patients or caregivers.

Medical Cannabis Integrated Facility License

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Integrated Facility License is essentially a vertically integrated license. More specifically, the Medical Cannabis Integrated Facility License in Alabama allows you to:

  • Cultivate cannabis.
  • Process cannabis into medical cannabis, including proper packaging and labeling of medical cannabis products.
  • Dispense and sell medical cannabis only to a registered qualified patient or registered caregiver.
  • Transport of cannabis or medical cannabis between its facilities.
  • Sell or transfer medical cannabis to a dispensary.

Isn’t that interesting? In short, the Alabama Cannabis Integrated Facility allows you to conduct the same activities as the:

  • Cultivator License
  • Processor License
  • Dispensary License
  • Secure transporter License

However, there are stricter requirements and qualifications for those applying for an Alabama Cannabis Integrated Facility License (aka vertically integrated cannabis license).

For instance, the licenses must be awarded to entities whose majority ownership is attributable to an individual or individuals with proof of residency in this state for a continuous period of no less than eight years preceding the application date and who provide records indicating continuous, full-time business experience in the field of commercial horticulture or agronomic production for a period of at least eight years.

Also important to note, the commission may issue no more than five integrated facility licenses.

Does the Alabama Medical Cannabis Integrated Facility License fit your goals? Do you prefer a vertically integrated cannabis business license? If so, reach out to our cannabis consulting firm in Alabama to speak with our marijuana application advisors. Learn why or why not a cannabis integrated license in Alabama may be right for you.

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Medical Cannabis Testing Laboratory License in Alabama

Finally, the last license type is the Alabama Medical Cannabis Testing Laboratory License.

The Marijuana Testing Laboratory License allows you to possess and test cannabis and medical cannabis products cultivated or processed at licensed facilities in Alabama. In addition, an Alabama cannabis testing laboratory license authorizes the licensee to do all of the following without using a secure transporter:

  • Take cannabis or medical cannabis from, test cannabis or medical cannabis for, and return cannabis or medical cannabis to only a respective licensed facility.
  • Collect a random sample of cannabis or medical cannabis at the premises of a cultivator, processor, or dispensary for testing.”

Importantly, to be eligible for a state testing laboratory license, the applicant and each investor with an interest in the applicant must not have an interest in any licensed cultivator, secure transporter, processor, or dispensary. Alabama created this provision to prevent a conflict of interest between medical cannabis businesses.

Below is a summary of the number of licenses that Alabama will issue:

Cannabis Consulting in Alabama

At this point, we have covered all of the Alabama medical cannabis license types. Now, before we conclude, I’ll provide some additional information related to cannabis license applications in Alabama.

Additional information on Alabama Cannabis Licensing

Licensing timeline

So you’re now familiar with the Alabama Cannabis Licenses. But when can you apply?

Beginning September 1, 2022, a person may apply to the commission for a license for an integrated facility or for a license in one of the following independent categories: Cultivator, processor, secure transporter, state testing laboratory, or dispensary.

While September 2022 seems like a long time, our cannabis application writers in Alabama recommend starting on your license applications now. The more time you have to prepare your application, the greater the chances are that you’ll receive a higher score from the State.

Licensing and Application Fees

Equally important to know the types of cannabis licenses and the timeline for applying, you’ll want to be aware of the licensing and application fees.

Alabama has not released the official licensing fees, but the act states that the fee shall be not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), depending on the category of license. License fees are only paid if you are awarded a license, and need to be renewed either annually or bi-annually.

On the other hand, the application fee is non-refundable and must be paid for each application you submit. According to the Medical Cannabis Compassion Act (SB46), a nonrefundable application fee of $2,500 shall be paid at the time of filing to defray the costs associated with the background investigation conducted by the commission.

Conclusions from our Alabama Cannabis License Consulting firm

I hope you found the information useful. You should now be familiar with the types of Alabama cannabis licenses. Hopefully, you now have a better idea of which Alabama marijuana license best fits your goals.

As Alabama continues to release more information on its medical cannabis program, I will update this post. Keep an eye out for further information and tips on cannabis license application writing in Alabama. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out and set up a phone call with our Alabama Cannabis Consultants. We can provide further guidance and help you best position yourself for winning a cannabis license in Alabama.

Cannabis Application Writer in Alabama

Here is a link to the Medical Cannabis Compassion Act (SB46).

 

Related articles from our Alabama Cannabis Consultants:

Win a Marijuana Transporter License in Illinois

Cannabis Application in Arkansas: Win a License

Get an Adult-Use Cannabis License in New York

Julio C. Soriagalvarro, MS, MBA

About Julio C. Soriagalvarro, MS, MBA

Julio is a natural product chemist turned consultant who combines expertise in the life sciences and business to provide consulting services across the cannabis industry. He specializes in helping entrepreneurs win licenses to start cannabis businesses in both medical and adult-use markets. As part of Quantum 9, they've helped clients obtain licenses and become cannabis business owners in 27 US States and 6 countries. He received an MBA from Indiana University, focusing on finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship; a M.S. in Natural Product Chemistry and Drug Discovery from the University of Illinois; and a B.S. in Biology from James Madison University.

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