New complaint over some unissued Illinois medical marijuana dispensary licenses claims State’s denial violates due process

During the 2014 application process for the medical cannabis dispensary licenses the plaintiffs assert that 5 medical cannabis dispensaries were allowed to change their dispensary addresses after the application deadline, and before registering, so that the company could qualify to register.

The complaint alleges that absent being allowed to change the address of the medical marijauana dispensary locations post application and pre-registration, the cannabis dispensaries would not have qualified for the Illinois medical dispensary licenses. The plaintiffs allege that some of these cannabis dispensaries that were allowed to change the addresses in Illinois for their medical cannabis dispensaries beat out the plaintiff. 

The problem, they assert is that but-for being allowed to change the proposed location post-award, the location and so, the dispensary, would not have qualified under the law.

Understanding that not all the available licenses in the districts established by the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act were issued, the plaintiffs asked to amend their old applications to change the locations from locations where they’d applied and Illinois issued the medical marijuana licenses to locations where Illinois had not issued medical cannabis dispensary licenses.

Assuming applications don’t go stale or expire, this was a clever ploy given that there were only 55 of the 60 available licenses awarded, leaving 5 out there to be had. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation rejected the requests to change the addresses. The Plaintiffs sued asserting that the IDFPR had no valid basis to refuse their request and that the IDFPR violated their due process rights because they are entitled to a license as a qualified applicant in an open district.

You can read the full complaint here.

You’ll be interested to read that the complaint goes on to assert that IDFPR has violated Illinois’s Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act by creating the districts and allocating the 60 licenses amongst those districts resulting in 5 licenses going unissued as no one in certain districts submitted an application. The complaint claims that the districting system was a choice by the agency, not found within the act and asserts (although it doesn’t appear to press this point) that the system of districts cannot be used to justify awarding less than the 60 licenses authorized by the medical cannabis act when there are applicants with qualified property.


Ashley Brandt

Hi there! I’m happy you’re here. My name is Ashley Brandt and I’m an attorney in Chicago representing clients in the Food and Beverage, Advertising, Media, and Real Estate industries. A while back I kept getting calls and questions from industry professionals and attorneys looking for advice and information on a fun and unique area of law that I’m lucky enough to practice in. These calls represented a serious lack of, and need for, some answers, news, and information on the legal aspects of marketing and media. I've got this deep seeded belief that information should be readily available and that the greatest benefit from the information age is open access to knowledge... so ... this blog seemed like the best way to accomplish that. I enjoy being an attorney and it’s given me some amazing opportunities, wonderful experiences, and an appreciation and love for this work. I live in Chicago and work at an exceptional law firm, Goldstein & McClintock, with some truly brilliant people. Feel free to contact me at any time with any issues, comments, concerns… frankly, after reading this far, I hope you take the time to at least let me know what you think about the blog and how I can make it a better resource.

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