Downstate judge orders Illinois not to rescore marijuana license applications while controversial issue plays out in court

A court has ordered Illinois officials to hold off on rescoring license applications for recreational marijuana dispensaries, delaying the controversial process for at least a week, records show.

State officials agreed to the ruling, which freezes a plan by Gov. J.B. Pritzker meant to resolve complaints about the scoring process.

The order by Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Adam Giganti came in response to a lawsuit filed against Pritzker and his administration by three license applicants that already qualified for a lottery to win the licenses: SB IL LLC, Vertical Management LLC, and GRI Holdings LLC.

The Illinois Supreme Court last week declined to hear the case, so the plaintiffs filed it in the lower court. The applicants argue that the state’s ongoing delay in awarding the licenses for marijuana is unfair and illegal.

The businesses filing suit seek a temporary injunction and a permanent court order to compel state officials to award 75 new retail store licenses as originally planned, without giving the losing applicants a second chance in this first round of licensing.

Under the state law that legalized marijuana this year, the licenses were to be awarded by May 1. The governor issued an executive order indefinitely delaying those licenses, citing the coronavirus pandemic. [Read more at Chicago Tribune]

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