Governor Bruce Rauner has announced a list of the companies that will be allowed to grow and sell medical marijuana in Illinois. Letters to 18 winning cultivation centers and 52 retail stores went out today.
Among the winners is Ingrown Farms in Freeport, a grower to be located in Mill Race Industrial Park. It will be allowed to grow marijuana in the 16th District. MedMar Rockford and Mapleglen Care Center were awarded dispensary licenses in the 16th District. Medical marijuana districts are based on Illinois State Police districts.
Illinois law spelled out what was supposed to be a blind process to select who'd get the potentially-lucrative pot licenses. Though it appears as if former Gov. Pat Quinn's administration had selected winners, he finished his term last month without awarding any. That seemingly put the whole program in jeopardy; Rauner had criticized the application process when he was running for governor. But he's going ahead with it; his office sent out a list of companies that'll become regional cultivation centers and dispensaries of the drug. But that's only in certain areas -- other applicants are on hold. A memo from Rauner's top attorney, Jason Barclay, identified problems with the Quinn administration's process -- like disqualifying applicants without clear reasons. The lawyer says decisions made by Quinn's crew would not have withstood a lawsuit. He apologized to patients for the additional delay. Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky and WNIJ's Susan Stephens contributed to this report.