As one medical marijuana lawsuit is dropped, another one is filed

SHARE As one medical marijuana lawsuit is dropped, another one is filed
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New lawsuits over medical marijuana have been filed as another making headway has been dropped. | AP file photo

A medical marijuana lawsuit making headway in court has been dropped as other legal battles are waged in court.

PM Rx, a company that did not win a license to grow marijuana, had been suing its rival and the state, alleging the state didn’t follow its guidelines when awarding the coveted license to grow medical marijuana in the Kankakee area covered by Illinois State Police District 21.

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Andrew James, CEO of PM Rx, died in April. | Family photo

But last month, the CEO of PM Rx died suddenly of natural causes.

A PM Rx spokesman released a statement Monday on behalf of PM Rx and its rival that said, “After extensive factual investigation, and in light of the recent tragic passing of PM Rx LLC’s CEO Andrew James, PM Rx has agreed to dismiss all claims against both Cresco Labs LLC and the state of Illinois with respect to the state’s decision to award Cresco Labs the State Police District 21 cultivation center permit pursuant to the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.”

On Tuesday, the state announced Cresco had put up the required $200,000 license fee and the $2 million bond necessary to officially obtain the permit to grow medical marijuana in the Kankakee area.

The lawsuit had been significant in that a Cook County judge had ordered the state to turn over confidential application documents to PM Rx as part of their review for the legal proceedings. The state had handed over the documents.

But other lawsuits are proceeding, including a new one filed Monday, which accuses a Denver-based man and his consulting companies of infiltrating “the Illinois medical cannabis field with the intent of eventually monopolizing it” by circumventing the state’s rules, which limit how many dispensaries and cultivation centers a person can have an interest in.

The new suit filed in Lake County by Waukegan-based Medponics, a company that has not been awarded a marijuana growing license, claimsKayvan Khalatbari, an owner in Denver Relief Consulting, holds a “controlling stake” in three companies and more than three cultivation centers — exceeding what is allowed by the state.

Khalatbari, in an emailed response, said the allegations in the lawsuit are “simply not true. It’s unfortunate that these irresponsible lawsuits persist as a distraction to this very serious process at hand, the goal of which is to be able to provide safe and consistent medical cannabis to qualifying patients in Illinois as soon as possible.”

He added that he is “confident this process and the revelation of the facts surrounding these claims will dismantle these accusations and allow me to help this state realize that goal.”

Medponics also filed a lawsuit last month in Cook County alleging the state didn’t follow its own scoring procedures and also seeking the confidential scoring information. That case is ongoing.

Kayvan Khalatbari, left, sits on the couch in the lobby of his medical and recreational marijuana store Denver Relief as employee Allison Woods escorts a customer into the shop in Denver. | AP file photo

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