Lawmakers, stakeholders ask Pritzker to pause marijuana licensing processPosted by On

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SPRINGFIELD — Some lawmakers and stakeholders are asking Gov. JB Pritzker to hold off awarding 75 marijuana dispensary licenses amid concerns that just 21 applicants qualified for the first round of licenses.

Applicants for licenses were graded on a 250-point scale established by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to determine which firm receives a license. The applications were scored by an unaffiliated third-party, KPMG, a private auditing firm. KPMG was paid $4.2 million by IDFPR to grade the applications, a process that was delayed by five month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Because each of those 21 applicants achieved a perfect score, the 75 licenses are to be distributed via lottery. In an email sent Tuesday, a spokesman for IDFPR, which oversees the marijuana dispensary licensing process, said the lottery would take place in late September.

Lawmakers, social equity activists and rejected applicants raised concerns almost immediately…

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