ICCA attempt to get craft grow licenses through court stymied by judicial pace

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Moshe Jacobius told attorney David Ruskin, representing the Illinois Craft Cannabis Association, that the emergency motion he filed to force Illinois to release cannabis licenses will have to wait. (Zoom)

An attempt to obtain fast action in an Illinois court to release craft grow cannabis licenses was met with the deliberate pace of the judiciary on Thursday. Two emergency motions brought to the Cook County Circuit Court by Illinois Craft Cannabis Association (ICCA) were slowed down after a judge ruled that rather than hearing arguments the next week, state attorneys should be given three weeks to write a response brief, with another seven days for the plaintiff to respond. The decision pushed a likely hearing date to late November,continuing to delay the release of craft grow, infuser, and transportation licenses.

Those licenses were supposed to be issued by July 1, but Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued executive orders on June 29 delaying the release of licenses, using emergency powers under the Pandemic. The emergency motions brought by ICCA called for a judge to overrule Gov. Pritzker’s emergency orders, issue the licenses immediately and freeze any application scoring as is, as the state prepares to rescore applications.

David Ruskin, the ICCA’s attorney argued to Judge Moshe Jacobius that applicants need action soon.

“There are principal officers of companies that are leaving because it’s been almost four months. And by the way, Gov. Pritzker when he issued an executive order, he suspended this indefinitely. So, we don’t even have a date to look forward to. We don’t know, will it be November 1, December 1,” said Ruskin.

Judge Jacobius believed there was no rush because of the season. “The growing season, can marijuana be grown at any time?” he said. “Will it grow in December, will it grow in November?”

Ultimately, Jacobius stated the case was too complicated because it challenges the nature of  the governor’s powers under the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act. 

“Because of the complicated nature, twenty-four hours to brief is not realistic,” said Judge Jacobius.