State officials on Friday announced that a fourth lottery for cannabis dispensary licenses will now be held to give six applicant groups a chance to win additional permits after they were wrongfully excluded from drawings in an earlier lottery.
The latest development in the convoluted and acrimonious pot shop licensing process came just before the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced the final list of winners of the next 185 permits, which still can’t formally be issued due to a Cook County judge’s order.
Toi Hutchinson, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s senior adviser on cannabis control, explained in a call with reporters that a “clerical oversight” led to some groups having less chances than they deserved and others having more shots in the July 29 lottery. The errors affected the drawings for five of the 17 regions where the licenses are designated.
The new lottery aims to give the affected firms the same odds of winning they would have had in the initial drawings, although it wasn’t immediately made clear how those odds will be determined. Additional licenses will be issued to the winners, but officials didn’t say how many could be dished out.
In a written announcement detailing the process, the IDFPR stated that other “corrective lotteries” would be used to address similar issues with the two others that have already been held. But for now, Pritzker spokeswoman Charity Greene said the only additional lottery that’s planned relates to the July 29 drawings. Given that the state’s plan has to be introduced in court, Greene said that language was included in case other problems arise and additional lotteries need to be held.
The IDFPR also acknowledged that several applicant groups “have alleged that their applications should have been eligible for one or more of the three lotteries and were