Illinois pottery store lotteries are finally over, but licensing remains in limbo
Illinois’ complicated process to nominate the winners of the next batch of new cannabis dispensary licenses ended on Thursday, although the future of the licenses remains uncertain.
This is because they are still being held back by an order made by a Cook County judge. However, the results of the third and final lottery may ultimately end the underlying lawsuit, which at this point may still have serious implications for the troubled deployment of state licenses.
The lawsuit, filed by WAH Group LLC and HAAAYY LLC, sought to reverse the process over allegations the scoring system created a special class of candidates for veterans. Cook County Judge Moshe Jacobius issued an additional order granting the WAH group a place in the drawing on Monday.
The startup was ultimately named the winner of two of the 75 licenses issued Thursday, one in an area that covers Chicago and another in the Rockford area. Mazie Harris, the firm’s lawyer and one of its registered directors, has signaled the group’s intention to withdraw from the lawsuit.
âWAH does not have standing to pursue the constitutionality of veteran points, and it would not be in their best interest if veteran points are found to be unconstitutional,â said Harris, who noted she could not speak for the name. by HAAAYY. This company had already been named the winner of the license during the first lottery on July 29.
The dispensary licensing process has long been mired in controversy and hampered by litigation. During Monday’s hearing, attorneys for the Illinois attorney general’s office lobbied to resolve related issues during the administrative review process.
Here are some of the other winners:
- AmeriCanna Dream LLC, a group that counts former cannabis regulator and current Cook County commissioner Bridget Degnen among its partners, has been granted a license, the second the company has obtained during the lottery process. A spokesperson for Degnen did not respond to a request for comment.
- Viola Brands, which includes former NBA stars Allen Iverson and Al Harrington, also landed his second license. âWe are thrilled with this opportunity, and it’s great for me personally to have the opportunity to share my life’s work with my hometown,â Viola co-founder Dan Pettigrew told The Sun-Times.
- GRI Holdings, an influential company with close ties to the state government that has restaurateur Phil Stefani as its director, has been granted two licenses. The company also recently obtained licenses for craft cultivation and brewing. A spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
- Jeffrey Rehberger, managing director of video game company Lucky Lincoln Gaming, won his second dispensary lottery win with his company Fortunate Son Partners LLC. Rehberger also appears to be linked to another company which has won a new cultivation license. He did not reply to a message.
- Edie Moore, executive director of the influential Chicago branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, withdrew four more licenses, in addition to two she had already obtained. Moore played a key role in drafting the Trailer Bill which sought to end the license freeze by creating the 110 permits given out in the first two lotteries. She declined to comment.
- For example, Baked Too LLC and Suite Greens LLC were each licensed after filing a lawsuit in Cook County court claiming the state “forced” them to unfairly give up lottery spots. âHonestly, I’m just in shock. It doesn’t seem real, âsaid Britteney Kapri, partner of So Baked, who noted she was being cautious. “Who knows what’s going to happen? A Suite Greens partner did not respond to a request for comment.
- Other winners included a heavy dose of nominees with ties to the cannabis industry, including The Herbal Care Center by Perry Mandera, which won twice. In February, Chicago pot giant Verano Holdings announced it was purchasing the Herbal Care Center dispensary on the Near West Side and a second location in the West Loop. A spokesperson for the Herbal Care Center did not respond to a request for comment.