Illinois Governor Gives Cannabis Dispensary Applicants Second Chance to Qualify for Licensing Lottery

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has announced that cannabis dispensary applicants will get a second chance to qualify for the state’s licensing lottery following backlash over the licensing process, according to a CBS Chicago report.

Earlier this month, regulators announced that 21 social equity applicants would be included in a lottery to win the 75 dispensary licenses.

The 21 applicants were chosen from 1,667 total applications submitted and all received perfect scores, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Shortly after the winning applicants were announced, a group of companies behind some of the unsuccessful bids filed a federal lawsuit, alleging political motivation behind the businesses chosen to advance in the process.

Last week, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) announced plans to “review questions” raised about the licensing process before setting a date for the cannabis dispensary license lottery, which was initially scheduled for a to-be-determined date this month.

Now, Pritzker is allowing applicants who did not receive the maximum score of 252 points to amend their applications or challenge their scores, according to CBS Chicago.

Applicants who did not receive perfect scores on their initial applications will receive a “supplementary deficiency notice” and a score sheet that outlines each part of the application on which points were deducted, the news outlet reported. The applicants will then be able to respond to the notice by amending their applications or asking the state to rescore their applications if they believe a mistake was made in the initial scoring process.

Applicants cannot change the listed owners or ownership percentages on their original applications in an attempt to qualify as a social equity applicant, or as veteran ownership or Illinois resident status, CBS Chicago reported.

Pritzker’s office said the IDFPR will review all responses to the supplemental deficiency notices and issue final scores for each application before moving forward with the licensing lottery, according to the news outlet.

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