Court decision could free up weed dispensary licenses in Illinois

It could be a big week for the state’s maligned marijuana sector.

  • Cook County Circuit Court The injunction may be liftedThis has prevented 185 applicants from social-equity from being granted dispensary licenses.
  • Why it mattersAfter legalizing cannabis in 2019, Illinois set out to be one of the most socially-equitable states in the country. Three years later, Illinois has almost achieved its goal. There are no dispensaries owned by minorities.

    Context:After a confusing lottery process, a lawsuit was filed in court. A judge ruled that all new licenses should be halted until the process is complete.

    Driving the newsThe original plaintiff now represents the applicant The court should lift the stay.

    They are saying: “Illinois is way behind where it wanted to be on owner diversity, product availability, industry revenue growth and more because of the stay,” Mike Fourcher, Grown In editor tells Axios.

  • “I hope the judge removes the stay and the state goes along with it because there are still no minorities in the cannabis business,”Rickey Hendon, former state senator, and dispensary licence-holder tells Axios.
  • What’s next:The judge could rule as soon as Friday. Minority applicants will be able to continue setting up their businesses, finding space, and opening dispensaries if the stop is lifted. It’s been almost 29 years, which could cause financial barriers.

  • “Will all those social-equity teams just sell their licenses?”Fourcher said. “Lots of large, out-of-state companies are counting on that to build their Illinois presence at fire-sale prices.”
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