Illinois marijuana licensing on track after lawsuit dropped

Chicago (AP) — A Michigan-based cannabis company has ended its challenge of Illinois’ plan to authorize new marijuana business.

Sozo Illinois Inc.’s decision Tuesday to drop its lawsuit will allow Illinois to proceed with awarding licenses to operate marijuana dispensaries. Illinois on Thursday is to hold the first of three lotteries to award 55 licenses to applicants that scored 85% or better on their applications for recreational cannabis stores.

Sozo Illinois claimed state law unfairly lowered its chances of getting a license. The lawsuit noted part of the law gives bonus points in scoring applications from Illinois-based companies, while another removed a bonus for hiring 10 people from areas hurt by the war on drugs.

The suit sought a court order to stop the lotteries.