MJBizMag January 2023 - 40

New York
Maryland
Low
Tide
Experts predict
Alabama's medical
marijuana program will
be slow to launch with
limited opportunities
By Omar Sacirbey
Missouri
C
annabis advocates celebrated
when Alabama became the
37th state to legalize medical
marijuana.
But now that the grits have cooled,
what's left are modest licensing
opportunities and a restrictive
program-no flower, vape cartridges or
concentrates-in which it will be hard
to make money.
" I think for the average applicant,
Alabama is going to be tough, " said
Jay Czarkowski, founding partner of
the Canna Advisors consulting firm.
" If I'm going for a license in Alabama,
I'd have an uphill battle the whole
way because I don't have the political
connections. And it's the South: You've
got to believe there's going to be some
politics involved. "
'BEAST' APPLICATION
Adding to the challenge is the
application, which was released in
October.
" It's a beast. It's one of the biggest,
most comprehensive, complicated
applications that we've ever seen, " said
40 January 2023 | MJBizMagazine
Czarkowski, whose Colorado-based
firm has vied for applications in about
30 states.
The application, which must be
hand-delivered, requires proof of
authorization for the applicant to
occupy the properties where proposed
facilities would be located.
BET ON BIG AND LOCAL
Czarkowski said he expects those most
likely to win licenses in Alabama will be
wealthy local groups, then multistate
operators. Those groups " can afford
the resources-such as consultants,
attorneys and everything else you need
to pull this together, " he said.
Czarkowski noted that while
multistate operators might have more
medical marijuana experience than
local Alabama entities, some applicants
likely have been involved in the state's
hemp industry for years and are
well-capitalized and well-connected,
meaning they can afford the talent
required to compete with MSOs.
" I'm sure Alabama could see some
merit to giving a license or two to an
ALABAMA APPEAL
The state's Medical Cannabis
Commission received 607 requests for
medical marijuana business license
applications, including:
* 133 integrated facility applications.
* 124 cultivator applications.
* 35 processor applications.
* 239 dispensary applications.
* 69 secure transporter applications.
* Seven testing laboratory
applications.
out-of-state, experienced group. But
let's face it: In 2022, it's a hell of a lot
easier to grab some talent for your
team than it was 10 years ago.
" And there's lots of talent out
there. These well-heeled groups that
are multigenerational-successful
business groups and business
families-they know what they need
to do, " Czarkowski said, adding that
well-funded families and businesses

MJBizMag January 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBizMag January 2023

MJBizMag January 2023 - 1
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