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Pot licenses still in legal limbo, but judge allows final lottery next week

A hearing Monday left a lawsuit over the process to award new marijuana business permits unsettled but allowed for an Aug. 19 lottery for dispensary licenses to take place.

A pending lawsuit is impacting the state’s issuance of marijuana dispensary licenses.
AP file photo/Marina Riker

Permits for new pot-related businesses in Illinois have been delayed — again.

A Cook County judge on Monday did not issue a ruling in a lawsuit challenging the fairness of the state’s licensing process.

The suit is holding up the formal issuance of recreational marijuana dispensary licenses that have been granted in a lotteries in recent weeks.

The suit is largely based on how the state handles a part of its application process that grants bonus points to applicants that count military veterans as owners.

Attorney Mazie Harris, who’s representing one of the pot companies that’s suing, declined to speculate on when a ruling might be handed down. “Only the judge knows,” she said.

The next hearing on the matter is scheduled for Aug. 16.

Despite the case being in limbo, Judge Moshe Jacobius said the state’s next lottery for 75 new dispensary licenses will be allowed to proceed on Aug. 19.

The upcoming and final lottery has been dubbed the Tied Applicant Lottery because participants had applications that, when tallied using the state’s point system, were notched in a tie.

Two other recent lotteries, held July 29 and Aug, 5, doled out a total of 110 licenses.

Jacobius’ legal decision will impact the issuance of a total of 185 licenses from the three lotteries.