Suit over Illinois’s award of new dispensary licenses looks for re-scoring and to stop lottery from proceeding – hearing set for tomorrow.
With Illinois’s limited cannabis dispensary licensing system the stakes are large for applicants that didn’t achieve the total 252 points that would allow participation in the upcoming lottery for the award of the provisional applications.
A group of applicants that did not make the cut filed a lawsuit challenging the process and pointing out irregularities with the scoring process and questioning the fundamental fairness of the judging.
Key assertions made in the complaint include statements about the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act’s requirements that applicants be given an opportunity to cure any deficiencies (410 ILCS 705/15-30(b)) and that some of the plaintiffs did not receive deficiency notices.; and that the IDFPR’s rules to do not satisfy due process where they keep the applicants from challenging the decisions.
The request from the plaintiffs is that the court order the department to accept and grade revised exhibits that they argue would have been submitted if a deficiency notice had been sent and then potentially allow them to participate in the lottery if their scores merit it, or that the court stop the lottery until the court can adjudicate the fairness and accuracy of the IDFPR’s processes.
This isn’t a class action, so applicants that haven’t brought suit or that don’t file their own may be left out of the remedy fashioned by the court or the parties in some form of a settlement. Which could lead to further complaints getting filed based on the success of this one.
You can read a copy of the amended complaint that the cannabis dispensary applicants filed against the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation here.
You can read a copy of the motion for a temporary restraining order looking to block the lottery from occurring and asking for an opportunity for applicants to challenge the IDFPR’s decisions and scoring.
It looks like argument is set for tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., members of the public and media will be able to call in and listen to the hearing. The call-in number is 888-808-6929 and the access code is 4911854 – from the Court: “Persons granted remote access to proceedings are reminded of the general prohibition against photographing, recording, and rebroadcasting of court proceedings. Violation of these prohibitions may result in sanctions, including removal of court issued media credentials, restricted entry to future hearings, denial of entry to future hearings, or any other sanctions deemed necessary by the Court.“