Alabama legislators passed a medical cannabis legalization bill last year, and now it’s time for prospective businesses to line up for the state’s first licensing cycle.

Business owners may now request an application from the state, an opportunity that will only be available until Oct. 17. From there, applications will be mailed out the following week and due back to the state by Dec. 30. 

The application fee is a non-refundable $2,500 for any license type, though prospective businesses may only apply for one license type.

License winners will be announced June 12, 2023

Jay Czarkowski, founding partner of Canna Advisors, said that Alabama is following other states examples by setting up a merit-based application process once the requests are in. The state will be looking for applicants with experience in the industry, as well as access to capital in this more competitive market right now.

“They’re looking for groups that are qualified, that can execute and deliver value,” he said.  

To open to the market, Alabama will offer five vertically integrated licenses (with each license holder permitted to open five dispensaries) and 12 cultivation licenses, four processor licenses, and four dispensary licenses (with each license holder permitted to open three dispensaries). Statewide, the number of dispensaries will max out at 37.

“It’s a small number to start, but it’s a start,” Czarkowski said.