In the latest of several lawsuits that take aim at Illinois’ licensing process to award 185 new cannabis dispensary licenses, two applicants, Suite Greens LLC and So Baked Too LLC, claim state officials wrongfully forced them to give up three of their spots in the state’s third and final licensing lottery, which is scheduled for Aug. 19.
The lawsuit, filed Aug. 16 in Cook County court, asks the state to give the applicants all the spots they initially earned in the lottery, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Suite Greens and So Baked Too were among 21 applicants that were originally included in a lottery to award 75 cannabis dispensary licenses last September.
After that initial announcement, however, rejected applicants filed a series of lawsuits over the licensing process, and the state ultimately created 110 new licenses and unveiled a plan to award the 185 total licenses in a series of three lotteries scheduled for July 29, Aug. 5 and Aug. 19.
The state awarded 110 total cannabis retail licenses in the July 29 and Aug. 5 lotteries, but a Cook County judge has barred the state from issuing any final dispensary licenses until a separate lawsuit, brought forth by another rejected applicant, WAH Group LLC, is settled.
The latest lawsuit, brought forth by Suite Greens and So Baked Too, rests on a section of Illinois’ adult-use cannabis legalization law that splits the state into 17 regions where various numbers of licenses are allocated, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. In each region, a single principal officer cannot be included in more qualifying applications than there are licenses available for that region.
Attorney Brendan Shiller was listed as a principal officer on the applications for Suite Greens, So Baked Too and another firm, Canndid Spirit Too LLC. The groups rightfully predicted that Canndid Spirit’s application would receive a perfect score, and so Canndid Spirit and So Baked Too emailed Shiller’s resignation to state officials July 22 to avoid having too many qualified applications in certain regions, which would ultimately result in the loss of lottery spots, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
However, the lawsuit claims that state regulators still forced the plaintiffs to give up three spots in the Aug. 19 licensing lottery, according to the news outlet.
While Suite Greens and So Baked Too both qualified for Illinois’ two previous lotteries, they did not secure licenses in either one. Both applicants have nine total spots in the Aug. 19 lottery, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, and are asking the court to reinstate two spots for Suite Greens and one for So Baked Too.