Legislation Aims to Fix Stalled Equity Efforts in Illinois Cannabis Industry

Pritzker and backers of the legalization law made promises that Illinois would use decriminalization to usher in a new era of “social equity,” reversing harms caused primarily to people of color by the war on drugs.

“It’s been extremely challenging to try to dismantle what’s so incredibly, for lack of a better term, baked into the system.

Now, Rep.

Ford’s plan would allow existing applicants, like Dillon, to take part in a second lottery that would lead to awarding another 110 licenses in addition to the 75 currently in limbo.

And so I think that we are in good shape to make sure that this monopoly of the cannabis industry ends in Illinois, and it will be diverse as a result of the law that we pass coming up,” Ford said.

Hutchinson said the Pritzker administration has been involved in months of negotiations, and has never wavered in its goals to rectify injustices against people of color and those once punished for using or selling a drug that is now legal.

“What we have to do now is to make sure that there are people who are able to achieve these very first equity licenses that will go out, anywhere really.

While the all-White current titans of Illinois’ marijuana industry may have a head start, Hutchinson said the legal cannabis ecosphere is in its nascent stages so it’s not too late for future social equity licensees to succeed.

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