SPRINGFIELD — After more than a year of delays, 55 new cannabis dispensary licenses have been awarded in a lottery — but the winners may face further delays and challenges.
The winners were chosen from a pool of 626 applicants who scored 85% or greater on their applications. Since Illinois legalized recreational marijuana last year, only previously existing medical marijuana dispensaries have been allowed to also open retail shops.
A lack of cannabis flower could mean further delays for the new license holders who had to wait because of the pandemic and legal challenges to the application process.
Pam Althoff, executive director of the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois, said the state will have to assist growers in any way it can.
“Its tremendously important for the Department of Ag to give everybody the availability to expand to their highest level so that we can get that raw material out so these products will meet the demand once these dispensaries come online,” Althoff said.
Another obstacle faces lottery winners. A Cook County judge issued