An Illinois judge rejected a request to stop re-scoring applications for recreational cannabis licenses. The ruling allows the state to continue re-scoring applications after complaints about the initial process to receive one of 75 available licenses.
Three companies that received perfect scores on their licensing applications filed the lawsuit. Sangamon County Judge Adam Giganti ruled the plaintiffs weren’t likely to prove they would be “irreparably harmed” from re-scoring licenses. Unsuccessful applicants claimed they weren’t made aware of problems with their applications that could have been corrected. They also argued scoring was inconsistent.
Only 21 out of over 900 applicants qualified for the first round of 75 social equity licenses, meant for dispensaries expected to help improve communities harmed by the war on drugs.
Some of the losing firms filed a lawsuit against the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s administration, claiming the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act was violated as it states applicants were to be notified if their applications were “deficient in any respect.”
Earlier this year, Governor Pritzker issued an executive order to extend the application deadline to the end of March of this year. The licenses were to be awarded May 1 after an initial delay due to coronavirus, however the awarding of the licenses has been further delayed indefinitely. Failed applicants will now receive a “supplementary deficiency notice” that explains where they lost points and will have 10 days after receiving the notice to make any changes to their application.
Recreational cannabis has been a hit in Illinois, with the state selling $11 million in cannabis products in the first five days of legal recreational sales. In the month of October alone, the state saw over $100 million in cannabis sales, with $75 million coming from recreational cannabis sales.