Illinois Cannabis Lottery to Move Forward

Dispensary licenses to be awarded

November 16, 2020


On Thursday, November 12, successful applicants finally received word that the much-disputed and delayed process of awarding recreational marijuana licenses would once again move forward. The licenses were initially set to be awarded on May 1, but were delayed due to coronavirus. Review of the applications and announcement of the winners finally occurred in early September. Only the 21 applicants with perfect scores were able to advance to the lottery stage. Since then, the lottery has been held up by lawsuits and complaints about the fairness of the process.  

Losing applicants filed suit, stating that the scoring process was unfair because different scores were given to identical application sections, and alleging that the state had failed to notify applicants of deficiencies. In response, Governor Pritzker had announced that a new round of deficiency notices would be issued, giving applicants a chance to correct deficiencies and be rescored. But last month, three companies that had received perfect scores sued Governor Pritzker and his administration for an unfair and illegal process in delaying and re-judging the marijuana licenses.

Last week, Judge Adam Giganti refused to grant the temporary restraining order that would have further delayed the license awards. Judge Giganti wrote in his ruling that an injunction would disrupt and further delay license issuance, and that on balance, the public interest favors the re-scoring of the license applications. 

If you need help determining next steps for your Illinois license application, contact John Mackewich at 419-346-4155 or at

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