Now former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn issued a statement Monday morning talking about his decision to not award licenses to medical marijuana cultivation centers before leaving office. He instead will pass that job on to Republican Gov. Elect Bruce Rauner who was to be sworn in this afternoon.
Quinn had originally said he would make a decision on the applications of those that applied for licenses to run medical marijuana cultivation centers, by the end of 2014, but that decision did not come. He told The Associated Press on Friday that state agencies would only decide after taking “as much time as necessary” to do the job correctly.
“It shouldn’t be rushed out last minute,” Grant Klinzman, Quinn spokesperson said. “The agencies in charge of awarding these licenses have already completed most of the work in full accordance with the law, and the new administration will now administer the rest.”
The decision by Quinn was criticized before it was even announced. Rep. Lou Lang , a Skokie Democrat who was a sponsor of the legislation expressed concern for the sick people waiting for access to medical marijuana in the state.
“The inexplicable unwillingness of Governor Quinn to finish the job on the medical marijuana program means one thing: unnecessary prolonged pain and suffering of very sick people,” Lang said. “The people suffering from cancer, epilepsy will be further victimized by the governor’s failure to do his job.”
With the job of awarding licenses now in the hands of Rauner, it will most likely be even longer before the licenses are awarded and medical marijuana cultivation facilities are in operation. During his campaign, Rauner made the comment that the state should just auction off licenses to the highest bidders.