A judge ended a court order May 27 that allows Illinois to issue 185 new adult-use cannabis dispensary licenses after a nearly 10-month delay, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Cook County Circuit Judge Michael Mullen lifted the stay that was issued last year to bar the state from awarding the licenses until ongoing litigation was settled, the news outlet reported.
The ruling allows businesses that have been waiting in limbo to begin taking steps toward opening their doors, such as finalizing zoning approval, securing real estate and hiring staff, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The lawsuits that sparked the stay on licensing were brought by companies that argued they were unfairly excluded from last year's lotteries to award the 185 new retail licenses.
Illinois officials have planned a corrective lottery to give the plaintiffs another chance to secure a license.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has also announced that it will simplify the cannabis retail licensing process with a new set of rules going forward.
“People are super excited to move forward,” attorney Ryan Holz, who represents businesses set to receive the new licenses and others that were excluded from the licensing lotteries, told the Chicago Tribune.
The state’s three corrective lotteries are expected in June, according to the news outlet.