Illinois Marijuana Equity Licensing Bill Heads To House Floor

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“The bill will correct a flawed license lottery system that has prevented minorities from ownership in the industry.” By Peter Hancock, Capitol News Illinois A bill aimed at allowing more people from distressed communities to get into the lucrative recreational marijuana business is on its way to the House floor as lawmakers head into the final days of the spring 2021 session. “The bill will correct a flawed license lottery system that has prevented minorities from ownership in the industry,” Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, the bill’s chief sponsor, said during a news conference Thursday. House Bill 1443 is a follow-up to the landmark bill that passed in 2019 legalizing and regulating the sale and use of recreational marijuana. Under that law, dispensaries that were already licensed to sell medical marijuana immediately became eligible to apply for recreational-use licenses while a number of other licenses were set aside for so-called “social equity” applicants. Those were to be businesses run by people from communities that were disproportionately affected by over-policing and criminal drug prosecutions during what former President Richard Nixon dubbed the “war on drugs,” as well as individuals and family members of people who had previously been prosecuted for marijuana violations. The first 75 social equity licenses were supposed to go out last year through a lottery system, but that was put on hold when, out of more than 900 applications filed, only 21 received perfect scores making them eligible to enter the lottery. Since then, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has given those who didn’t make the cut a chance to amend their applications, and it plans to go through a second scoring process before determining which ones will qualify for the lottery. Ford’s proposal, meanwhile, calls for establishing two more lotteries in which a total of 110 dispensary…

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Source : Illinois Marijuana Equity Licensing Bill Heads To House Floor

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