Fourteen lawsuits pending in Illinois’ Cook County Circuit Court calling for a complete redo of the state’s cannabis license lotteries were ordered consolidated into a single supercase, while one suit that charges the entire scoring process was unconstitutional was severed from the group and put into its case docket.
The order, made by Judge Moshe Jacobius, Chief Judge of the County’s Chancery Court Division, clears a procedural log jam created when the Illinois Supreme Court ordered consolidation of a panoply of cannabis lawsuits filed by dozens of companies. The majority of the cases, which fall under Illinois’ Administrative Law rules, have been shifted to the courtroom of Chancery Judge Cecilia Gamrath, who recently began to hear cannabis cases filed upon the completion of the license lotteries.
[Read Judge Jacobius’ consolidation order]
The separated case, that of Haaayy LLC, was originally filed with the WAH Group LLC, in September 2020. Haaayy’s case charges that the license application process’ award of points to teams led by a military veteran is unconstitutional under Illinois law, since it weights scoring towards veterans, creating a special class. In various refilings, WAH Group changed its complaint to be more administrative of nature, however, that complaint was served from the Haaayy case, and will remain in Judge Jacobius’ court.
Illinois Administrative Law cases, which are requests for judicial review of regulatory decisions, do not allow discovery and must be tried entirely on facts presented as part of the regulatory process. As a result, the 14 suits consolidated in Judge Gamrath’s courtroom are expected to have a relatively speedy resolution.
The severed WAH Group case will continue in Judge Jacobius’ courtroom with a status hearing on December 8 while Judge Gamrath has a hearing scheduled for her new consolidated case on December 16.
Correction: This report incorrectly stated the Haaayy complaint was staying with Judge Jacobius. That is incorrect, WAH Group case is doing so, while Haaayy was consolidated with the others in Judge Gamrath’s court.