Illinois’ medical marijuana industry is off to a rough start. It took longer than expected for the State of Illinois to issue medical marijuana business licenses. The process was largely shrouded in mystery, with accusations about the process being unfair being hurled early and often. Now that most, but not all, medical marijuana business licenses have been announced in Illinois, the entities that were denied a license are deciding if they want to pursue cases against the State of Illinois. One such company became the first to file a lawsuit this last week. Per the Chicago Sun Times:
What is believed to be the first lawsuit regarding medical marijuana licenses in Illinois was filed Friday in downstate Coles County by a business that lost out in its bid to get a license to grow medical marijuana.
The business, Shiloh Agronomics LLC contends that the company it lost out to, Shelby County Community Services Inc., was improperly given the license because it is a nonprofit organization that receives tax benefits from the Internal Revenue Service, a federal agency.
“The concern is that because Shelby County Community Services is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity, it is not eligible to apply for a permit to engage in an activity that violates federal law,” said Jude Sullivan, whose father, James Sullivan, holds a large stake in Shiloh Agronomics.
It’s a very interesting legal argument being presented. I’m sure this will open the litigation floodgates in coming weeks in Illinois. To date Illinois only has roughly 1,000 medical marijuana patients. None of them have safe access to medicine, and don’t have the right to grow their own. Hopefully lawsuits don’t further hinder the process of getting medicine to patients.