How To Open A Dispensary In Alabama

The Alabama state commission has started accepting requests for business license applications from 1 September through 14 October. This is a clear indication that Alabama is getting closer to having marijuana dispensaries open and selling medical cannabis.

Up until October 14, the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission will take requests for applications for a range of medical marijuana-related facilities, from dispensaries to growing and testing operations.

In this blog, we will give you an insight into the eligibility, cannabis laws, license types in Alabama, how to acquire them, and much more:

Can I Open A Dispensary In Alabama Right Now?

Not yet. The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission website states that you can request license applications from September 1 through October 17. The application deadline is December 30. The AMCC will mail out applications on October 24.

On June 12, 2023, the winners of initial licenses will be disclosed following a period for making revisions and an opportunity for public comment.

The license payments have to be paid by June 26, 2023, while the final permits will be issued by July 10, 2023, to applicants. You will be able to start a dispensary in Alabama once everything is completed.

Licensing Timeline In Alabama

The AMCC started accepting requests for license applications on September 1, 2022, from growers, processors, transporters, testing facilities, dispensaries, and integrated businesses that perform multiple tasks. The authority anticipates issuing licenses by the summer of 2023. Products are expected to be made accessible by the end of this year or early 2024.

In the beginning, Alabama might have up to 37 dispensaries in the cities and counties that accept them by resolution or law, a process that is already underway.

How Much Can You Buy?

A maximum of “70 daily dosages” of medical cannabis can be kept on hand by registered patients. For the first 90 days, the maximum dose of cannabis products that have been approved is 50 mg.

Access to cannabis flowers or edibles infused with cannabis is prohibited for patients. Patients under the age of 18 are only allowed low-THC cannabis products.

How Can Patients Get Medical Cannabis?

You cannot just walk into a dispensary and purchase cannabis.

A patient who wants medical marijuana must be consulting a physician and have them diagnose a qualifying condition. A physical examination, proof that conventional treatments have been tried, and a treatment plan must all be included in the documentation that the physician submits. 

To receive a medical cannabis card, the patient must sign a consent form and register with the state; the cost of the card is fixed t $65. Only licensed dispensaries will sell medical cannabis to patients. 

Can I Buy Adult-Use Cannabis In Alabama

Recreational cannabis is currently illegal here. Owning even the smallest amount of illegal cannabis is currently a crime in Alabama, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $6,000.

Current Cannabis Laws In Alabama

  • Daily dosage must not exceed 50 milligrams of THC 
  • Medical marijuana is allowed in the following forms:
    • Oral tablet/capsule/tincture
    • Non-sugarcoated gelatinous cube/cuboid/lozenge
    • Gel/oil/cream/or other topical preparation
    • Transdermal patch
    • Nebulizer
    • Liquid/oil only for an inhaler
    • Suppository
    • The state laws in Alabama don’t legalize medical marijuana for everyone. 
  • The law permits the use of medical marijuana for certain conditions in adults and minors with a physician’s recommendation. You must visit a physician who holds a valid license to practice medicine in Alabama and who has passed an examination on medicinal marijuana if you want to be legally permitted to take the medication. 
  • Be a legal resident of Alabama.
  • There is no minimum age requirement.

Cannabis Dispensing

The AMCC has set rules for dispensaries and some criteria for the certified dispensers who will manage them. A minimum of two years of training in biology, chemistry, pharmacology, medical cannabis, or a related discipline is required of certified dispensers. They need to finish a basic medical cannabis course and complete at least 10 hours of annual continuing education.

Social Equity

According to Alabama law, a minimum of 1/4 of all licenses for cultivators, processors, secure transporters, dispensaries, and testing laboratories, as well as a minimum of 1/5 of all licenses for integrated facilities, must be given to business entities that meet the following requirements:

  • Members of a minority group hold at least 51% of the company’s stock, or at least 51%of the shares in the case of a corporation.
  • The company is daily managed and operated by members of a minority group.

Any person who is of African American, Native American, Asian, or Hispanic descent belongs to the Minority Group.

Tax Rates In Alabama

Patients in Alabama must pay a 9.00% sales tax on every medical marijuana purchase. Additionally, there is a 9.00% excise tax added to every medicinal marijuana purchase.

Current Cannabis Market In Alabama

According to a study, Alabama is expected to sell medical cannabis for around $48 million in its first year of legal sales, $163 million in its second year, and about $387 million in its third year. There will be more clarity on the numbers once Alabama starts selling to patients.

How Big is The Opportunity

According to a study, Alabama’s legal cannabis business will generate $19.7 million by 2024. Cannabis legalization would be economically lucrative for the state, according to some sources. Legalizing marijuana is anticipated to reduce the damage caused by the criminal justice system and boost the state’s economy.

Types of Cannabis Licenses in Alabama

Following are the types of medical cannabis licenses processed in Alabama:

License TypeNumber of Licenses
Cultivation License12
Processor License4
Dispensary (can have up to 3 locations in different counties)4
Transporter LicenseNot decided
Testing Lab LicenseNot decided
Integrated Facility grow, process, transport, and dispense cannabis)5

How To Get A License – Important Dates

Here’s what we know about how to open a dispensary in Alabama so far:

  • Request license applications between Sept. 1 and Oct. 17.
  • Applications will be mailed out on Oct. 24, and the submission deadline is Dec. 30.
  • The winners will be announced on June 12, 2023. Chosen businesses will have until June 26, 2023, to pay the license fees, and final permits will be issued on July 10, 2023.
  • According to the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (MCC), five licenses will be available for vertically integrated businesses, and each vertically integrated licensee will be allowed to have five dispensaries.
  • Possess a good business plan.

Alabama Dispensary Fees

Type of FeeAmount
Non-refundable Application Fee$2,500
Annual Permit Fee$40,000

What Else Do You Need to Open a Dispensary in Alabama?

Step 1

Understand Cannabis Laws In Alabama

Be apprised of the cannabis laws and regulations in Alabama to open a dispensary successfully. The rules of no two states may be alike, therefore, hire a good cannabis consulting firm to help you stay compliant.

Step 2

Solid and Scalable Business Plan

Usually, the first step in transforming an idea into an actual business is to write a business plan. As you write, your thoughts begin to form a plan, and a way ahead appears. However, business plans aren’t just for startups; they may also be revised and updated by established businesses.

Whatever the situation, written documentation can provide the clarity needed to motivate employees, attract more investors, or guide future decisions. Your business strategy needs to take into account the following elements in order to guarantee finance and strategic growth:

Sales Strategy

Describe your sales strategy and, if necessary, the approach you plan to follow. Investors can understand your experience by seeing your sales prowess, as sales are what sustain and generate revenue for your business. Sales are the fuel for a business journey.

Even if you don’t know precisely how your sales and marketing will pan out or which channels will be the most profitable, you should provide a clear and thorough description of how you intend to sell your cannabis products.

This demonstrates your planning that you are thinking ahead and that you have confidence in your abilities.

Financial Plan

This is the part of the document that you should pay the most attention to. Based on your current financial condition and a map of where you will need funds, this part will summarise your financial strategy and projections.

Financial projections are based on either past data or industry and top competitor research and analysis.

Business Organization

This section showcases the expertise of your business in your sector. It lists each employee’s job duties and educational background.

This part must include an organizational structure to indicate the owner of the business and the many stakeholders involved.

Also to showcase the background and experience that each member of your team will bring to the table, start with top management.

Brand Positioning

The business strategy helps you establish your brand’s position in the cannabis industry. This section will provide you the opportunity to succinctly introduce the business and its brand to customers, investors, and business partners. Utilizing the market, consumer, and competitive intelligence you get throughout the business planning phase, you may determine how to position your brand most effectively.

Step 3

Choosing A Team For Your Dispensary In Alabama

A successful team is the foundation of any organization. Both new businesses and multinational corporations benefit the most from it. A strong team allows an organization to scale, grow, and succeed in ways that would be hard for one person to accomplish alone.

The first step in creating a successful team is to hire the right people—those that value teamwork, are goal-oriented, and respect the hierarchical structure that most businesses demand.

Step 4

Choose Your Location With Care

Cannabis retailers are no different from other businesses in realizing the importance of location to their business. It is crucial to choose the ideal location while yet abiding by the various rules and legislation imposed by the state and that specific municipality. 

Step 5

Tech Integration with Leading Technology Partner 

Every successful cannabis business is built on a solid IT infrastructure and security system. Therefore, after your license has been approved and you are ready to open your store, you must get in touch with Cure8 IT experts. We can provide a whole new concept and development for your store. Wi-Fi, iPads, scanners, printers, security cameras, and everything else you need to complete your store’s IT infrastructure are all available from us.

How Can Cure8 Help?

Cure8 is a one-stop shop for technology solutions that will transform your business. Together, we decide which IT services and solutions are appropriate for your cannabis business. It includes managed IT services, custom hardware, and software solutions.

Check out more about our solutions here.

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