Judge Orders Illinois Officials Not to Rescore Cannabis Dispensary Applications in Ongoing Licensing Dispute

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A judge has ordered Illinois officials not to rescore cannabis dispensary applications in an ongoing licensing dispute over the state’s plan to issue 75 new retail licenses, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The move comes after three finalists included in the licensing lottery filed a lawsuit over Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s plan to offer unsuccessful retail applicants a second chance to qualify for the controversial lottery.

Illinois regulators announced in September that 21 social equity applicants would be included in a lottery to win the 75 available dispensary licenses.

After a group of companies behind some of the unsuccessful bids filed a federal lawsuit claiming that there was political motivation behind the number of businesses included in the lottery, Pritzker announced that unsuccessful applicants who did not receive perfect scores on their initial applications could amend and resubmit them, or ask the state to re-score them if they believed a mistake was made during the initial scoring process.

SB IL, Vertical Management and GRI Holdings IL, which all received perfect scores on their initial applications and qualified for the licensing lottery, then asked the Illinois Supreme Court to award the licenses without the changes to the process.

The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in lower court last week after the Illinois Supreme Court declined to hear the case, the Chicago Tribune reported.

SB IL, Vertical Management and GRI Holdings IL argue that the state’s delay in awarding the licenses is unfair and illegal, according to the news outlet, and they are asking the court for a temporary injunction and a permanent court order to force state officials to award the dispensary licenses in the lottery as originally planned.

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