Legal Fight Ensues Over State’s Medical Marijuana Licenses

A lawsuit filed in Cook County Court pits a losing applicant in the Illinois Medical Marijuana derby, against the State Department of Agriculture, and indirectly, the biggest winner in the sweepstakes for the coveted licenses.

“In my world, they changed the rules,” says Andy James, chairman of PMRX, the unsuccessful bidder on a cultivation license in District 21. “We had to file a lawsuit to get any information. Nobody’s talking.”

At issue, is the fact that PMRX lost out to Cresco Labs, a seeming marijuana juggernaut which received the three highest scores in the contest for what promise to be lucrative licenses to grow medical pot in Illinois.

The suit contends the state changed the security scoring rules at midstream, converting to pass/fail what had been a numerical score which could have spelled the difference between applicants with close ratings.

“We’re not sure the implementation of the process, i.e. the scoring, was done pursuant to the rules,” James said. And he said one of the reasons for his lawsuit, was to see his own scores, which so far, have been kept confidential.

“Can you imagine a history class, and the only person who gets a grade is the person with the highest score?” he asked. “No sour grapes here. Sure we would have loved to have won the license. But when you spend the money we spent, would just love to know that it was done correctly or fairly.”

James also alleges that someone from Cresco met with then-governor Pat Quinn while the application process was unfolding.

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