A trio of Illinois cannabis dispensary applicants filed suit last Friday in federal court to demand participation in the August 19 Tied Applicant Lottery because they believe their applications were incorrectly scored. The group of applicants, JG IL LLC, Emerald Coast LLC, and ReNu LLC are all tied to cannabis company Justice Grown, which is led by attorney Jon Loevy, who is also an attorney of record for the lawsuit.
Justice Grown is a Chicago-based multi-state operator, with cultivation in Illinois and other licenses in Missouri and Pennsylvania.
The three applicants claim to have sought a hearing from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation but were turned away by the agency. The lawsuit calls for the court to put the three plaintiffs in the Tied Applicant Lottery but does not otherwise affect the lottery process.
JG IL claims it should have received application points as a social equity business because 51% of its employees were from Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIA), Emerald Coast LLC claims it should have received points for military veteran ownership, and ReNue LLC claims it missed points for being veteran-owned and owned by Illinois residents.
The suit is one of a raft of lawsuits cannabis attorneys have been privately warning against, now that Illinois licenses have been awarded and “damage” has been done. Other Illinois lawsuits filed prior to license assignment have been stayed by judges since the award process was incomplete. Numerous attorneys have told Grown In off the record that they are actively discussing lawsuits with license applicants unhappy with the process.