Pot License Lotteries Stall Under New Lawsuit

By Jeremy Coumbes on July 20, 2021 at 2:22pm

Lottery drawings for distributing new marijuana retail licenses are now on hold.

A Michigan company filed a lawsuit the day after the new marijuana law took effect. Sozo Illinois, which is run by a former Chicago-based entrepreneur says the plan for issuing some 185 new licenses via lotteries is discriminating against the company.

According to a report by Capitol Fax, the company says a provision in the application process that gives Illinois residents five bonus points toward attaining the licenses violates state and federal laws guaranteeing due process and equal protection.

The new law which went into effect on July 1st, intended to help fix one of the biggest sticking points in the way the first 75 marijuana retail licenses were distributed after 21 separate applicants fell into a tie with perfect scores.

According to the report, applicants who didn’t win one of the first 75 licenses would be eligible for two lotteries for 110 additional licenses this year.

Sozo achieved social-equity status through employment. Any applicant that achieved the status was excluded from the second pair of drawings.