Despite being slated to receive a conditional license, applicants must wait for Cook County Judge Moshe Jacobus’s ruling on an ongoing court case.
Wah Group, LLC, and Haaayy, LLC, are suing IDFPR, Deputy Director Bret Bender, KPMG, LLP and Roe Corporations over claims that the initial scoring of last year was unfair, with different scores received by identical applicants.
The initial application process filtered out businesses without a perfect score, which was only possible to achieve if the applicant was a veteran-owned business. Under this scoring method, only 21 applicants qualified.
Veteran-owned businesses are predominantly white-owned businesses, therefore the old scoring system limited communities of color’s access to licenses, despite those communities experiencing the largest incarceration rates for marijuana-related offenses.
Pam Althoff, executive director of Cannabis Business Association of Illinois, said although there were changes to the scoring methods, the creation of two new lottery opportunities better served communities of color.
“The General Assembly recognized that the original lottery results did not meet their anticipated goal of the legislation, which was to get entities into the industry that were more diverse, and that were impacted by the war on drugs,” Althoff said. “I think that the success was the passage of the legislation itself.”