- Associated Press - Monday, January 26, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - The Illinois medical marijuana program scored and recommended 18 businesses to grow medical marijuana and 56 retailers to sell it in the weeks before former Gov. Pat Quinn left office.

Newly released documents show some businesses with known political ties or other complications scored highly but were disqualified or put on hold at some point in the process. Quinn didn’t act on the recommendations, deciding instead to allow Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration to award the licenses.

A draft news release prepared by the medical marijuana program director listed 18 would-be winners of cultivation center licenses. That release noted two licenses in Cook County and one in a region encompassing southern Illinois counties wouldn’t be awarded.

The Associated Press obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request.

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