Will Quinn award medical marijuana licenses? ‘We’re gonna try’

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Gov. Pat Quinn would not commit Sunday to awarding licenses to grow and sell medical marijuana in Illinois before he leaves office.

Without explanation, the state blew its self-imposed deadline last week to award those licenses before the end of 2014. On Sunday, Quinn said research is still underway.

“That will continue until the job is done,” Quinn said. “It is a complicated law, and we’re working on it as best we can.”

But in the meantime, patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy are waiting to use medical marijuana for treatment. Entrepreneurs who have invested in the venture are also left in a lurch.

Quinn said his transition team, headed by his chief of staff, speaks regularly to the staff of Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, who takes office in about a week. But Quinn did not answer directly when asked if Rauner’s staff has been briefed on the medical marijuana issue.

A Rauner spokesman has said the incoming governor’s administration will review Quinn’s work and decide how to proceed if Quinn leaves the licenses behind for Rauner to award.

On Sunday, Quinn wouldn’t make any promises.

“We’re gonna try to do it as best we can,” Quinn said. “There’s a lot of research to be done, and it has to be done right.”

Contributing: Becky Schlikerman

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