Illinois’ dispensary lotteries may be brought to a grinding halt by yet another lawsuit. The suit, filed last Friday in Illinois’ Northern District Federal Court by Sozo Health, a Michigan-based cannabis company, against the State of Illinois, alleges that the new license lottery law enacted last week by Gov. J.B. Pritzker unconstitutionally bars non-Illinois applicants from competing for a majority of dispensary licenses, thus violating the federal constitution’s interstate commerce clause.
The suit cites recent, successful federal cases against similar license provisions in Missouri, Detroit, and Portland, Maine. Sozo Health claims that because the state’s new license law creates a new lottery awarding 55 licenses to only social equity applicants with Illinois residency, the Social Equity Justice Involved Lottery, and that the law reaffirms the awarding of 75 licenses to an earlier group of 21 applicants who maximized their points by being Illinois residents, the Tied Applicant Lottery.
Besides a request to declare the dispensary lottery law discriminatory against out-of-state applicants, the suit requests the court grant a temporary restraining order against Illinois conducting the lotteries, the first of which is scheduled for Thursday, July 29.
No hearing dates have been set as of publication.