Illinois marijuana delivery providers file complaint over unlicensed operators

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Thirteen marijuana delivery service providers in central Illinois filed a complaint against state regulators, alleging that they are allowing unlicensed operators to transport product.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the Circuit Court of Sangamon County, claims the Illinois Department of Agriculture and its director, Jerry Costello, are not enforcing provisions laid out in the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, or CRTA, which paved the way for the state’s adult-use sales program that launched in January 2020.

Among the plaintiffs’ complaints:

  • The agriculture department has failed to “administer and enforce” the provisions of CRTA and transportation regulations relating to the “oversight and registration” of transporting organizations and agents.
  • The agriculture department has not taken disciplinary action against any parties involved in illegal transports because it does not have sufficient staff.
  • The agricultural department is “knowingly and willfully” allowing operators to illegally perform cannabis transports in Illinois.

“As a result, illegal cannabis transporters are acting with impunity, jeopardizing the safety of the Illinois public and essentially blocking licensed Illinois transporters, like plaintiffs, from participating in the Illinois cannabis industry,” the lawsuit reads.

As part of the complaint, plaintiffs included a few documented incidents alleging that licensed and unlicensed operators skirted cannabis transportation rules and regulations.

A spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Agriculture told the Chicago Tribune that it does not comment on pending litigation, and it is unaware of any illegal transporters.

Chris Casacchia can be reached at