Illinois must quit awarding adult-use craft marijuana licenses, court rules

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The Illinois high court threw another wrench into the state’s adult-use marijuana program.

The state Supreme Court denied a request to allow Illinois to license the winners of craft marijuana cultivation licenses, which means the process is halted until pending lawsuits are settled, the Chicago Tribune reported.

According to state law, Illinois was required to issue up to 60 new craft cultivation cannabis licenses by Dec. 21, but at least 13 applicants sued to challenge their being denied permits.

This summer, the state awarded the first 40 craft grower licenses before the court prohibition took effect, so those will still be issued.

The state is trying to honor its pledge to diversify the industry and provide opportunities to individuals and communities most harmed by the war on drugs.

But so far, regulators’ actions have been heavily mired in ligation.

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Another 185 new adult-use retail licenses are stuck in limbo as lawsuits proceed in that sector.

MJBizDaily projects that by 2024, Illinois will reach $2.4 billion to $2.9 billion in recreational cannabis sales and another $310 million to $380 million in medical marijuana sales.