IL judge lifts order keeping marijuana growers from prepping for launch

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An Illinois judge cleared the way for 88 craft marijuana growers to prepare to start planting after reversing a restraining order he issued on behalf of a dozen cultivation applicants who lost cannabis license bids.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Winnebago County Circuit Court Judge Stephen Balogh’s decision Wednesday to lift the restraining order effectively means the 88 social equity applicants can start prepping their businesses to join the legal adult-use marijuana supply chain.

The growers had been in limbo for weeks, but Balogh’s decision states that those would-be growers suing over the licensing process must follow a new administrative review law protocol to challenge the outcomes rather than suing.

“It means the state is open for business,” Scott Redman, the president of the Illinois Independent Craft Growers Association, told the Tribune.

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Redman predicted that most of the craft growers still won’t open for business until 2023 because they still have to build out grow facilities and finish other prep work.

Attorneys for the original plaintiffs in the case signaled they might file a new amended lawsuit and that the number of plaintiffs could grow, according to the Tribune.