Section 20-2A-51

License quantities; operation of dispensing sites.

(a) Where the commission is authorized under this article to determine the number of licenses of a specific license category the commission will grant, or increase the number of licenses of a specific license category to grant, the commission shall consider the population of the state, the number of active registered qualified patients, market demand, the unemployment rate, the need for agricultural and other business opportunities in communities, access to health care, infrastructure, and other factors the commission deems relevant in providing the greatest benefits to the residents of this state and taking into account the racial and economic makeup of the state.

(b) The commission, and where applicable the department, shall ensure that at least one-fourth of all licenses, or in the case of Section 20-2A-67, one-fifth of all licenses, are awarded to business entities at least 51 percent of which are owned by members of a minority group or, in the case of a corporation, at least 51 percent of the shares of the corporation are owned by members of a minority group, and are managed and controlled by members of a minority group in its daily operations. For purposes of this subsection, minority group means individuals of African American, Native American, Asian, or Hispanic descent.

(c)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary, the commission shall not permit a dispensary to operate a dispensing site in any municipality or unincorporated area of a county unless the municipality or county has authorized the operation of dispensing sites within its boundaries, as provided in subdivision (2).

(2) Any county commission, by resolution, may authorize the operation of dispensing sites in the unincorporated areas of the county, and the governing body of any municipality, by ordinance, may authorize the operation of dispensing sites within the corporate limits of the municipality. The county commission or municipal governing body shall notify the commission not more than seven calendar days after adopting the resolution or ordinance.

(3) This subsection does not prohibit a municipality from adopting zoning ordinances restricting the operation of dispensing sites within its corporate limits.

(Act 2021-450, §1.)