Elena de Soto / Unsplash

Our vision of super-cool parties Illinois’ new dispensary license winners will be invited to. Credit: Elena de Soto / Unsplash

Fifty-one companies were selected for seventy-five cannabis licenses in today’s Tied Applicant Lottery in Illinois. Of those licenses, one group of companies all registered at the same North Clark Street Chicago address and won eleven adult-use dispensary licenses, on top of the eight licenses they already won. Almost sixty-percent of the licenses awarded today went to existing cannabis companies.

Other big winners included Botavi Wellness LLC, a group including Chicago HR consultant, Karen Horwitz, that won six licenses on top of one previously taken in the July 28 lottery, Chicago NORML executive director Edie Moore, who led a group that won four licenses on top of two she already secured, Tacoma, Washington-based World of Weed, that won four licenses along with two already secured, and the Southern women-led investment team Blounts & Moore, that won three licenses along with the three already secured.

[Read the official list]

Whether or not the lottery winners will take ownership of their new licenses remains up in the air, however, as a court case, WAH Group v IDFPR, that could rollback all the lottery results, remains unresolved. That case’s next hearing is set for August 30. However, one new wrinkle in the case is that WAH Group LLC, one of the plaintiffs, which was just entered into today’s lottery on Monday by the judge’s order, won two licenses. WAH Group’s owners include the plaintiff’s attorney, Mazie Harris. Harris did not respond to a request for comment by publication.

Another connected group of companies won nineteen licenses in all. This group of companies are all based at an office address known to be owned by Dispensary 33 owner Zach Zises. At that location, eight different companies, each with a different listed manager, were registered. Those companies, Green & Alamo LLC, Green & Bransford LLC, Green & Bradley LLC, Green & Campbell LLC, Green & Foster LLC, Green & Kinnick LLC, Green & Randle LLC, as well as Green & Williams LLC, as a group won more licenses than any other team. Because Illinois does not release ownership information for cannabis license applicants, these groups’ exact relationship to Dispensary 33 or Zises is unclear. Zises has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

This round included a few other existing cannabis company winners, including: 

  • One license to UHCC Inc, which is led by Portland, Oregon’s David Alport, the owner of Bridge City Collective
  • Viola Cannabis, which won one more license today, on top of the license won August 5. Viola is led by NBA stars Allen Iverson and Al Harrington.
  • Two won by Chicago’s The Herbal Care Center, a dispensary once owned by Perry Mandera, which was sold to Verano Holdings last February for $37.5 million
  • TC Applico LLC, a holding company controlled by Chicago-based MSO Justice Grown, which won two licenses.
  • Mint IL LLC, which is backed by Omar Fakhouri, the owner of Michigan’s SkyMint, the largest chain of cannabis dispensaries in the Mitten.
  • Holistic Illinois LLC, won one license. That company is connected to Washington, DC-based Holistic Industries.
  • One license went to GWB Illinois LLC which is connected to the cannabis investment fund Green Well Brands.
  • 127 IL LLC, won one license. That group is led by Nicole Van Rensburg, the one-time owner of Midwest Cannabis, a 2015 medical license winner. Van Rensburg, a Florida resident, sold her license to PharmaCann and is now CEO of Boca Raton-based Bloom Medicinals, which operates dispensaries in multiple states.
  • AmeriCanna Dream LLC also won a license, in addition to the license won on August 5. That group is led by Adam Safro, a managing director of New Era Capital, a real estate investment group led by Sammy Dorf, president of Verano Holdings. The group also includes Cook County Commissioner Bridget Degnan, a former deputy director of medical cannabis for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Some other notable winners include:

  • GRI Holdings LLC, a group led by Phil Stephani, owner of Gold Coast restaurant Tavern on Rush, which won two licenses.
  • Fortunate Son Holdings, which appears to be connected to Jeff Rehberger, president of Lucky Lincoln Gaming, an Illinois terminal operator company, which won a second license today, in addition to the one won on July 28.
  • So Baked Too LLC and Suite Greens LLC, two firms that filed suit earlier this week for the state to grant them additional lottery entries today, which each won a license.

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...