Governor Rauner Awards Medical Marijuana Licenses

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's office announced Monday it has granted medical marijuana licenses that former Governor Pat Quinn failed to distribute on his way out of office last month.

The governor's office granted licenses to 18 growers in Illinois and 52 sellers. More may be awarded later.  The governor's general counsel, Jason Barclay, released a statement Monday listing four problems in the Quinn process that had created ``a risk of substantial and costly litigation'' to the state. The Rauner administration says it took steps to deal with the problems that posed risks.   In certain districts, Rauner is delaying the licenses for further review. That affects about eight companies.    Barclay said the administration apologizes to patients for the ``additional minimal delay.''

In southern Illinois Governor Rauner issued most of the medical marijuana growing and distribution licenses as determined by former governor Quinn’s administration. The exception is the cultivation permit for state police District-12 based in Effingham.  That permit is expected to be awarded after additional review.  The distribution license was issued to NH Medical Dispensaries, Incorporated of Chicago.

In District 13 the marijuana growing permit goes to IESO, LLC based out of Decatur.  The distribution license is awarded to Terra Herbal Health, LLC based out of St. Louis.

In District 19 the marijuana cultivation license goes to Atraxia, LLC based out of the Chicago area.  The dispensary license was issued to Kirkwood Pharmacy Group of Harrisburg which is licensed to a group of four Du Quoin men.

In District 22 the growing permit was issued to Lake Forest based Wellness Group Pharms and the distribution license to Kirkwood Pharmacy Group of Anna which is part of the same Du Quoin corporate group that was issued the license for District 19.

In central Illinois, Tom Colclasure serves as executive director of Shelby County Community Services-his organization was awarded a growing license. He said in an interview last week that growing medical marijuana would mean jobs and a new revenue stream: "This seemed to fit with our mission because of the medical application of the product and also providing a business where we could provide jobs for people with disabilities and people in the community to work side by side."  Colclasure  says he expects the facility to be operational within six months. He described their business as "very secure and very regulated."

The General Assembly approved medical marijuana in 2013 as a pilot program, but its implementation had been delayed by a rule-making process. A study released last month estimated the state's medical marijuana economy could be worth $36 million dollars by next year...but said the state was losing potential revenue by delaying the release of licenses.