An Illinois judge has ruled against more than three dozen applicants for craft cannabis cultivator licenses who filed suit against the administration of Gov. J.B. Pritzker for a delay in awarding the licenses. The craft grower licenses were supposed to be awarded by July 1 of this year to comply with state law, but state officials have not yet done so, citing delays necessitated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The delay has affected the issuance of 40 craft grower licenses, as well as licenses for cannabis infusers, transporters, and 75 additional recreational cannabis retailers, which were supposed to be issued by May 1.
Cook County Judge Allen Walker issued the ruling on December 24 in the suit brought by the Illinois Craft Cannabis Association, which sought a decision directing the Pritzker administration to issue the licenses immediately. In the ruling, Walker wrote that the first emergency order issued by Pritzker to delay awarding the licenses was insufficient. But the judge also ruled that a subsequent order issued by the governor that clarified the delay was ordered because the agency tasked with issuing the licenses, the Illinois Department of Agriculture, was focusing its efforts during the pandemic on protecting the food