Cook County Judge Moshe Jacobius ruled Aug. 16 that WAH Group LLC was unfairly excluded from Illinois’ cannabis retail licensing lottery and said the company’s ongoing lawsuit could ultimately upend the state’s licensing process, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
WAH Group alleges in its lawsuit that state officials mistakenly excluded the company from Illinois’ first lottery to issue new dispensary licenses, which took place July 29.
The lawsuit takes aim at the state’s scoring process, which WAH Group claims was unfair because regulators awarded bonus points to applications submitted by veteran-owned businesses. WAH Group revealed that one of the company’s partners was a veteran during a supplementary scoring period, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, after applicants learned that those extra points were needed to receive a perfect score on its application and qualify for the licensing lottery.
During the Aug. 16 hearing, Jacobius ordered WAH Group LLC to be included in the Aug. 19 lottery and indicated that the ongoing litigation could force the state to redo its licensing process.
“We can’t predict the future,” Jacobius said in his ruling, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “And counsel says that if you ultimately rule that the whole structure was improper, then the whole thing will have to be redone over again. That may very well be, but I can’t anticipate what’s going to happen.”
Jacobius has allowed Illinois to hold its licensing lotteries and publish the winners, the news outlet reported, but the final licenses will not be issued before another court hearing on Sept. 1.