Illinois’ medical marijuana program is a mess to say the least. It’s been over a year and half since former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed medical marijuana into law, yet not one patient has been able to safely and legally access medical marijuana in Illinois. Licenses have finally been issued, however, even that stage of the process has been held up due to legal challenges, at least for one approved medical marijuana grower. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
A temporary restraining order keeping a cultivation site in Illinois from opening will remain in place, as a lawsuit by a separate grower who was denied a producer’s license winds its way through the courts.
A Cook County judge ruled that Cresco Labs, which was awarded an MMJ cultivation permit, would have to wait to begin operations pending resolution of the case. After losing out on its license application, cultivation company PM Rx filed suit questioning whether Cresco had enough money to operate their business, according to the Associated Press.
The lawsuit also questions the secret process by which growers were approved for licenses.
The second that licenses were issued, I knew there would be legal challenges due to how the process of issuing those licenses played out. Whenever the process isn’t clear and transparent for marijuana industry business licenses, there will be lawsuits filed by entities that were left on the outside looking in. This is bad for the industry, bad for applicants, and most of all, bad for patients who are suffering and desperately need safe access to medicine. I’m hopeful that for their sake Illinois gets it together sooner than later.