Illinois’ pot shop lotteries are finally over, but licenses remain in limbo – Chicago Sun-Times


Illinois’ convoluted process for naming the winners of the next batch of new cannabis dispensary permits came to a close Thursday, although the future of the licenses remains uncertain.

That’s because they’re still being held up by an order issued by a Cook County judge. However, the results of third and final lottery could ultimately bring an end to the underlying lawsuit, which at this point still may have grave implications on the state’s troubled licensing rollout.

The suit, filed by the WAH Group LLC and HAAAYY LLC, has sought to upend the process over allegations the grading system created a special applicant class for veterans. On Monday, Cook County Judge Moshe Jacobius issued an additional order granting the WAH Group a place in the drawing.

The startup was ultimately designated the winner of two of the 75 licenses issued Thursday, one in a region that covers Chicago and another in the Rockford area. Mazie Harris, the firm’s attorney and one of its registered managers, signaled the group’s intention to drop out of the suit.

“WAH does not have standing to pursue the constitutionality of the veteran points, and it would not be in their best interest if the veteran points are ruled unconstitutional,” said Harris, who noted she couldn’t speak for HAAAYY. That firm was previously named a license winner in the first lottery on July 29.

The dispensary licensing process has long been mired in controversy and hampered by litigation. During Monday’s hearing, lawyers from the Illinois attorney general’s office pushed to resolve related issues during the administrative review process.

Here are some of the other winners:

AmeriCanna Dream LLC, a group that counts former cannabis regulator and current Cook County Commissioner Bridget Degnen as a partner, nabbed a permit, the second the company has earned during

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