US (AL): MMJ commission falsely claimed bidder had a criminal history, lawsuit alleges

An applicant that sought a medical cannabis license in Alabama filed a defamation suit against the state commission that awarded the licenses, claiming the body falsely noted the company included people with a “disqualifying criminal history.”

Medella, LLC., which unsuccessfully applied for an integrated facility license, claimed the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission “plainly and falsely stated” that the company failed the commission’s evaluation due to “criminal conviction history (felony or controlled-substance-related misdemeanor/10 years)” and not providing criminal background checks.

Summaries of all the applicants, which included pass/fail notes, were published on the AMCC website when the licenses were awarded. The applicant summary report did not include a note that Medella’s bid included people with a disqualifying criminal history, but it did contain a notation that the “applicant owners’ criminal history could not be fully verified due to non-receipt of timely criminal background checks in the manner designated by the commission.”

The commission website states that it has been revised “to delete the [criminal conviction] reference for the impacted applicants. The prior reference in the summary report for these applicants should not be construed as evidence of any criminal background on the part of the applicant or any individual or other entity associated with the applicant.”


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