Gov. Pat Quinn won’t issue medical marijuana licenses

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Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

SPRINGFIELD, IL  (AP) – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has decided to not award licenses to medical marijuana cultivation centers before his term in office ends.

That means the issue will be decided by Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, who takes office on Monday.

Quinn spokesman Grant Klinzman said Monday morning that Quinn decided the decision “shouldn’t be rushed out last minute.”

Hundreds of businesses were awaiting a decision after submitting applications. Quinn had promised to issue the licenses by the end of last year. But he told The Associated Press on Friday that state agencies would only decide after taking “as much time as necessary.”

The hand-off to Rauner could lead to further delays. The Republican has criticized the existing selection process as secretive and subject to cronyism.