The Illinois Supreme Court.

An order issued three weeks ago by a Cook County judge is barring Illinois regulators from awarding and issuing sixty craft grow licenses that are, according Illinois law, due to be issued no later than December 21. Complicating matters, the order issued by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Neil Cohen has been combined with a group of other craft grow cases by the Illinois Supreme Court, which were assigned to a Sangamon County court earlier this week.

The original case that resulted in the stay, IA GP LLC v. Illinois Department of Agriculture, was filed by a company owned at least in part by construction company owner Cornelius Griggs. Griggs’ also won two Chicago-area dispensary licenses in the state’s license lottery, under the company name Island Thyme LLC. 

[Read Judge Cohen’s order.Read the Illinois Supreme Court’s consolidation order.]

The IA GP LLC case centered on a request to overturn disqualification of the company’s craft grow application. According to court records, on November 22, Judge Cohen overturned state regulators’ disqualification decision, but then for unknown reasons, the judge also ruled the Department of Agriculture “is enjoined, until further order of the Court, from announcing or issuing any craft grow licenses”.

When a judge enjoins the state to do something, it is typically in response to a motion for temporary injunction. But IA GP LLC did not seek a temporary injunction as part of its complaint.

Grown In did not attend the November 22 hearing, and attorneys for IA GP LLC, as well as representatives of the Illinois Department of Agriculture have refused to comment on or explain the reason for Judge Cohen’s stay, or explain the circumstances the stay may be lifted.

Now, because the IA GP LLC case has been consolidated with five other craft grow suits against the Department of Agriculture in Sangamon County Judge Gail Noll’s courtroom, the stay against issuing further licenses becomes her decision. Judge Noll is holding a hearing on the case this afternoon at 1:30 p.m.


Editor Mike is a co-founder and the editor of Grown In, a U.S. national cannabis industry newsletter and training company. His career has taken him from Capitol Hill to Chicago City Hall, from...